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    ABBN   CH0012221716

ABB LTD

(ABBN)
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Dovish ECB, upbeat earnings support euro zone stocks

07/22/2021 | 11:59am EDT
The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

(Reuters) - European stocks rose for a third session on Thursday after the European Central Bank pledged to keep interest rates at record lows for even longer, while strong corporate earnings underpinned optimism about an economic recovery.

Euro zone shares rose as much as 1.2% after the central bank said it would not hike rates until it sees inflation reach its 2% target "well ahead of the end of its projection horizon and durably". The index closed up 0.8%.

But the rate-sensitive euro zone banking index fell 0.2%, with government bond yields on the decline. [GVD/EUR]

The region-wide STOXX 600 rose 0.6%, recovering fully from its worst selloff in 2021 earlier this week, leaving it just 1% away from record highs.

"This news should be a short-term positive for European stocks and the overall recovery trade, providing additional support especially amidst rising nerves over the Delta (coronavirus) variant," said Xian Chan, chief investment officer, wealth management at HSBC.

ECB President Christine Lagarde warned a fresh wave of the pandemic could pose a risk to the euro zone's economic recovery.

Travel and leisure stocks topped sectoral gains again, rising 2.6%. The index had hit a five-month low on Monday on fears over the growing spread of Delta variant.

In earnings-driven moves, private equity firm EQT jumped 12.8% to the top of STOXX 600 after reporting upbeat first-half earnings, while Swiss engineering company ABB hit its highest since November 2007 after it doubled its full-year sales outlook.

But Unilever warning that surging commodity costs would squeeze its full-year operating margin sent its shares to 3-1/2 month lows.

Along with a slide in mining majors BHP and Rio Tinto, which tracked a 7.3% plunge in iron ore prices, London's blue-chip index dropped 0.4%.[IRONORE/]

Of the quarter of the STOXX 600 companies that have reported so far, 61% have topped analysts' profit expectations, according to Refinitiv IBES data. Typically, 51% exceed earnings forecasts.

The benchmark STOXX 600 hit all-time highs last week on optimism about a strong recovery in economic growth and earnings. However, markets have turned volatile recently on concerns about higher inflation and a resurgence in virus cases.

Sweden's Nordic Entertainment surged 10.3% after reporting a rise in subscribers and quarterly operating income, while Italy's Monte dei Paschi jumped 3.7% after the lender and its former top investor reached a preliminary accord to settle their legal disputes.

Swiss drugmaker Roche slid 3.6% after flagging an anticipated slowdown in demand for COVID-19 tests. (Graphic: Euro area PE ratio and inflation expectations,

)

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru and Marc Jones in London; Editing by Frances Kerry and Mark Potter)

By Sruthi Shankar


© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ABB LTD -1.96% 33.1 Delayed Quote.36.62%
BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA S.P.A. -0.86% 1.099 Delayed Quote.6.28%
BHP GROUP -3.67% 39.16 End-of-day quote.-7.71%
EQT AB (PUBL) -3.51% 393.3 Delayed Quote.93.73%
RIO TINTO PLC -3.60% 4829.5 Delayed Quote.-8.41%
UNILEVER PLC -0.71% 3918 Delayed Quote.-10.15%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 29 469 M - -
Net income 2021 2 580 M - -
Net Debt 2021 4 275 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 27,3x
Yield 2021 2,42%
Capitalization 73 011 M 72 753 M -
EV / Sales 2021 2,62x
EV / Sales 2022 2,49x
Nbr of Employees 106 370
Free-Float 84,7%
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Timo J. Ihamuotila Chief Financial Officer
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