European shares inch up after robust week; Bayer tanks By Reuters
2023-11-21 02:20:03

By Ankika Biswas and Bansari Mayur Kamdar

(Reuters) -European shares edged higher on Monday after a strong week driven by aggressive bets on interest rate cuts, while drugs-to-pesticides group Bayer (OTC:) posted its worst day ever weighing on the healthcare sector and Germany's benchmark index.

The pan-European inched 0.1% higher after jumping nearly 3% last week.

As investors started pricing in 100-basis-point rate cuts for 2024 with the first one seen as soon as April, European Central Bank officials shunned market optimism, flagging still-high inflation and a somewhat resilient economy.

"Markets are definitely jumping the gun. There's going to be a continuous repricing of expectations about that first rate cut- the most important one because of that shift in mentality from central banks," Daniela Hathorn, senior market analyst at

Energy stocks led sectoral gains, climbing 1.3% tracking firm crude prices as further supply cuts in OPEC+ production are expected in the coming weeks.

The healthcare sector eased 0.4% after Bayer fell 18.0% briefly hitting its lowest level in 14 years after aborting a large late-stage trial testing a new anti-clotting drug.

Separate news that the company had been ordered to pay $1.56 billion in the latest U.S. lawsuit over its commonly used Roundup weedkiller also hurt sentiment.

slipped 0.1%.

Meanwhile, data from the region showed producer prices fell along expectations in October, continuing a downward trend after September's record fall.

Italian bank stocks gained after Moody's (NYSE:) upgraded the outlook for the country's sovereign debt in an unexpected boost for Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's government.

The inched 0.2% up.

The risk premium investors ask to hold Italian and Portuguese sovereign debt also fell, reflecting some relief.

"With Meloni coming into government, we've seen a stable economic landscape from Italy and the Moody's upgrade is a move towards stability in the credit market and will improve the positive sentiment," Hathorn added.

Meanwhile, Spain's added 0.8%, extending gains for its sixth straight session.

Among other major movers, (LON:) tanked 10.5% after the British equipment rental firm said it expected annual profit below expectations and a more than $2 billion depreciation charge for the year.

Julius Baer dropped 12.0% after the Swiss bank dampened profit expectations, while Austrian sensor maker AMS Osram lost 4.9% after announcing terms of a fully underwritten rights issue.

Technical products and services provider Diploma topped the benchmark STOXX 600 with an 11.2% rise after projecting an upbeat full-year margin.

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