European stocks higher, ASX set to inch up


Europe’s benchmark stock index hit its highest in over two years on strength in healthcare stocks, while French and German shares lost some steam after scaling record highs last week as economic concerns weighed on sentiment.

The pan-European STOXX 600 closed 0.2 per cent higher, gaining for the fourth day. Trade volumes were light, with Wall Street shut for a public holiday. The Australian sharemarket is set to rise, with futures at 4.56am AEDT pointing to a gain of 8 points, or 0.1 per cent, at the open. The ASX added 0.1 per cent on Monday. BHP is the highlight of earnings season on Tuesday.

The FTSE in London edged higher.Credit: Bloomberg

Healthcare climbed 1 per cent to a near two-year high, led by AstraZeneca which jumped 3.2 per cent after a combination of its blockbuster cancer drug Tagrisso with chemotherapy to treat a type of lung cancer was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Meanwhile, basic resources fell 1 per cent as copper prices dropped after China held key rates on medium-term loans steady and markets focused on the country’s ailing property market.

France’s benchmark index was flat after the government lowered its 2024 GDP growth forecast to 1 per cent from 1.4 per cent as war in Ukraine and Gaza and a slowdown at top trading partners darkened the outlook.


The Bundesbank in a regular monthly report said Germany is likely in recession due to weak external demand, cautious consumers and stalling domestic investment. The benchmark DAX was down 0.2 per cent.

“Economic uncertainty will create market volatility, but markets are forward looking and the expectations of falling inflation, and in time, falling interest rates have provided a boost to stock markets,” said Emma Wall, head of investment analysis and research, Hargreaves Lansdown.

The STOXX 600 notched a fourth straight weekly gain on Friday, driven by optimism around robust corporate earnings and hopes of imminent rate cuts by the ECB.

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