The European markets ended the Monday trading session with growth, as investors have focused on macroeconomic data and the latest forecast by the European Commission (EC) for the Eurozone economy. The pan-European index Stoxx 600 rose by 0.75%, as all sectors finished in positive territory. The major European markets also posted strong gains. The shares in the field of manufacturers of basic resources were the best performers in the early afternoon session, with an increase of 2.4%, continuing the upward trend in Asian markets.
The British FTSE 100 added 0.28% to its value to 7,278.92 points.The German index DAX 30 rose by 0.92% to 11,774.43 points, while the French CAC 40 rose by 1.24% to 4,888.19 points.
German pharmaceutical company Stada ended with the biggest growth among the companies in the European benchmark, adding over 12% to its market capitalization. The shares of the Swedish oil company Lundin Petroleum also appreciated by almost 1.5%, after news that it will transfer its assets outside Norway. At the same time the Swedish Security and Defence company Saab reported a decline in its share price after it failed to deliver forecast profit in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The investors’ attention was riveted on the new economic forecast of the European Commission. For the entire EU and the euro area, the Commission expects the economic recovery to continue. The Commission forecasts that the growth of euro area GDP will be 1.6% in 2017 and 1.8% in 2018. This is a slight increase compared to the autumn forecast when expected growth of 1.5% for 2017 and 1.7% for 2018. The GDP growth across the EU are expected to be similar – 1.8% this year and next year. The previous forecast was for 1.6% for 2017 and 1.8% for 2018
The main engine of growth will remain private consumption. Expectations are, however, consumer spending to slow down because of the growth of inflation.