Equities Vienna Conclusion: Profits – Bank stocks pull ATX higher

Vienna (dpa-AFX) – The Vienna Stock Exchange closed on Friday with significantly firmer prices. The ATX leading index bucked the European market’s negative trend and rose 1.15 percent to 3,750.48 points. The broader ATX Prime rose 1.08 percent to 1877.27 units.

In particular, strong gains in ATX-heavy banking stocks pushed the Austrian stock barometer higher. Financial stocks were in high demand across Europe; The corresponding EuroStoxx industrial index posted the strongest increase in a sector comparison.

Pavak entered the weekend up 3.5 percent. Erste Group gained 2.5 percent and Raiffeisen Bank International rose 0.9 percent. Adeco Bank gained 0.8 percent. Shares rose more than 4 percent earlier in the day after it was announced that Slovenian banking group Nova Ljubljana Banca NLP intends to submit a buyout offer to Adeco Bank.

Oil stocks were also in demand ahead of the weekend. OMV advanced 1.5 percent, while oilfield supplier Schoeller-Bleckmann posted a 0.3 percent gain. On the other hand, utility stocks fell slightly: EVN lost 0.3 percent, Verband lost 0.2 percent.

The reporting season entered the next round with Rosenbauer. The fire department equipment supplier posted a loss in the first quarter of 2024, but that narrowed slightly compared to the same quarter last year. On the other hand, sales revenue increased by 17.7 percent to 225.6 million euros and order intake to 362.4 million euros. Rosenbauer shares were firm in long-term trading, but gave up all their gains to close one percent weaker.

On the data side, the focus was on fresh inflation figures from the Eurozone. Accordingly, inflation stopped declining in April. Consumer prices rose 2.4 percent compared to the same month last year; Inflation stood at 2.4 percent in March. However, core inflation continued to decline despite volatile prices for energy, food and beverages. The rate declined to 2.7 percent from 2.9 percent in the previous month.

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The central bank recently gave signs of an interest rate cut starting in June. ECB director Isabel Schnabel recently expressed caution about possible interest rate cuts after June.

An index of leading indicators released in the U.S. fell 0.6 percent in the afternoon, below the consensus forecast of minus 0.3 percent. Hopes of imminent US interest rate cuts have fueled markets recently, but there are other voices as well.

“Several leading figures at the US Federal Reserve have spoken in favor of continuing a tight monetary policy,” Landesbank Baden-W├╝rttemberg said. “They recommend keeping key interest rates at a high level for a longer period of time until there are clear signals of a slowdown in inflation.”/kat/spa/APA/men

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