European Stocks Improve Further

European stocks jumped up, extending a near 5-year high figure for the benchmark gauge of the region. Different financial companies such as Allianz SE, HSBC Holdings etc. posted results that were better than the estimates set by the analysts. The benchmark stock gauge of European stocks, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index went ahead by 0.3% and it is currently at 301.74. In 2013, the gauge has experienced a jump of 7.9% and has been able to get to its highest level since June, 2008. The fact that the central banks decided to maintain stimulus measures was a driving force behind these gains. If the volume of shares changing hands is considered, it was 16% higher than the average of the last 30 days.

According to Fund Manager of Old Mutual Asset Managers UK, Kevin Lilley, when it comes to earnings front, things have been pretty much of mixed bag. However, as far as financials are concerned, there have been surprises. According to Kevin, market should grind higher.

Out of the 18 western European markets, 16 have seen its national benchmark indexes climbing higher. The benchmark gauge of France, CAC40 went ahead by 0.4%, whereas, DAX index of Germany surged ahead by 0.9%. The benchmark gauge of UK, the FTSE 100 went ahead by 0.6% too.

Among the companies, the biggest bank in Europe, HSBC saw its shares jumping up by 3% and each share is currently priced at 735 Pence. The 1st quarter pretax profit of the lender has almost doubled to $8.43 billion, mainly because the bad debts declined. The results were better than the estimated profit of that of $8.04 billion.

The 2nd biggest lender of France Societe Generale SA saw its shares increase by 5.7% as each share is now at 30.14 Euros. The 1st quarter profit of the lender declined by 50% to 364 million Euros, as it was hurt by the accounting charges related to the debt. The profit is still better than the estimated 317 million Euros though.

The 2nd biggest lender of Germany, Commerzbank went ahead by 2.6% as each share is priced at 11.09 Euros now. The lender experienced a loss of 94 million Euros in 1st quarter; still figures are better than the predicted loss of 153.7 million Euros.

Among others, Hochtief AG advanced by 5.9%, Allianz gained 3.6% and Lafarge SA surged ahead by 4.4%.