EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Pare Gain, But Mining Shares Log Higher Finish

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07/17/2017 | 04:28 pm


By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch



U.K. government announces contract winners for high-speed railway project



Stocks in Europe broadly logged a steady finish Monday, with mining shares bumped higher after China's quarterly growth figures topped expectations.



The Stoxx Europe 600 closed up by less than 2 points at 386.86, paring its gain as most major European stocks tilted lower. Last week, the Stoxx 600 rose 1.8%, the largest advance since early May.



Among key benchmarks Monday, France's CAC 40 index slipped 0.1% to 5,230.17, and Germany's DAX 30 index shed 0.4% at 12,587.16.



In Frankfurt, shares of Deutsche Boerse AG (>> Deutsche Boerse) fell 1.4% after RBC downgraded the exchange operator to sector perform from outperform, saying a strong run up in the shares have left them outperforming their peer group and broader indices.



But the telecom group put in the best performance Monday on the Stoxx 600, with Telenor ASA (>> Telenor) soaring 8.2% after the Norwegian telecom company launched a new share buyback program and raised guidance .



Miners: Gains in the basic materials group were led by mining stocks, which were bolstered after China's second-quarter gross domestic product growth came in at 6.9%, higher than a 6.8% estimate in a Wall Street Journal survey of economists. Data from China, a major consumer of industrial and precious metals, also showed strengthening in industrial production and retail sales.



In the group, shares of copper producer Antofagasta PLC (>> Antofagasta) rose 2.3%, gold miner Centamin PLC picked up 2.3% and Swedish miner and smelter Boliden AB (>> Boliden) ended 1.3% higher. Steel pipes producer Tenaris SA(>> Tenaris) moved up 0.9%.



China's "solid growth reinforces recoveries for commodity exporters and keeps 2017's pickup in global growth on track," said Bill Adams, senior international economist at PNC Financial Services Group, in a note. "And with little sign of global inflationary pressure from either labor markets or commodity prices, this global expansion has room to run."



Stock movers: Carillion PLC shares (>> Carillion) zoomed up 19% as the infrastructure services company's joint venture partnership won two U.K. government contracts worth 1.4 billion pounds ($1.80 billion) to help build Britain's planned High Speed 2 railway. Carillion shares in recent sessions had lost more than 70% of their value after the company issued a profit warning and said its chief executive Richard Howson stepped down.



Balfour Beatty PLC's (>> Balfour Beatty) joint venture also landed two HS2 contracts, valued at GBP2.5 billion. Its shares claimed at 2.8% rise.



ITV PLC shares (>> ITV) climbed 3.2% after the U.K. broadcaster said easyJet PLC's (>> EasyJet) boss Carolyn McCall will become its new chief executive on Jan. 8 . EasyJet said it's already started looking for McCall's successor. Shares of the budget airline reversed course and rose 0.3%.



Other indexes: The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index closed up 0.4% at 7,404.13, aided by mining stocks. Spain's IBEX 35 shed 3.9 points to end at 10,651.20.



The euro traded at $1.1475, around late Friday's settlement at $1.1470. In focus this week will be the European Central Bank's policy meeting on Thursday.



Data: Eurozone inflation in June met an initial estimate of 1.3%, according to figures from Eurostat.





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