Stronger German Retail Sales Helps Euro Equities

European stocks climbed, extending their third consecutive quarterly gain, as a report showed retail sales unexpectedly increased in Germany last month. U.S. index futures were little changed, while Asian shares declined.

D.E Master Blenders 1753 NV surged the most since its initial public offering last June after the coffee and tea company spun off by Sara Lee Corp. said Joh. A. Benckiser has held talks to take it over. Ziggo NV rose to its highest price in two weeks as Liberty Global Inc. bought a 12.65 percent stake in the Dutch cable-television operator.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.5 percent to 293.76 at 10:52 a.m. in London. The equity benchmark has still dropped 0.1 percent this week, paring its gain in March to 1.3 percent. The Stoxx 600 is heading toward a quarterly advance of 5 percent. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.6 percent.

“German retail sales are a positive for market participants ahead of the Easter break,” said Norman Villamin, who helps oversee about $44 billion as European (SXXP) chief investment officer at Coutts & Co. “But they just reinforce the idea that Europe is running a two-speed economy. In Cyprus, banks open for the first time since the onset of its crisis today, and we will focus not on what are likely to be long lines, but rather whether the capital controls are extended beyond the four days proposed.”


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell