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Europe: Shares rebound from 2015 lows at end of bruising quarter

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 18:49
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European shares rose on Wednesday after reaching 2015 lows as a bruising quarter ended, with a Chinese tax cut boosting automakers while miner Glencore rallied after saying it had no solvency issues.

[LONDON] European shares rose on Wednesday after reaching 2015 lows as a bruising quarter ended, with a Chinese tax cut boosting automakers while miner Glencore rallied after saying it had no solvency issues.

European equities still faced their poorest quarterly performance since the worst of the euro zone crisis in 2011, with stock markets having steadily lost ground on signs of a slowdown in China, the world's second-biggest economy.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 2.45 per cent while euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index advanced 2.48 per cent, although the FTSEurofirst is down nearly 10 per cent so far this quarter. "The market was squeezed and this is facilitating a rebound, while a stronger dollar is also helping, although it's too early to say if risk appetite has returned," said Ifigest fund manager Roberto Lottici.

European shares continued higher after euro zone inflation turned negative again in September, raising pressure on the European Central Bank to beef up its asset purchases to kick start anemic price growth. "I expect some more expansion from the ECB," said Mr Lottici.

An economic slowdown in China has impacted metals and energy prices, since the country is a major consumer of commodities, and this in turn has hit the shares of mining companies.

China's slowdown has also hit other sectors where China is a major export market, such as carmakers and luxury goods.

Mining and trading giant Glencore, whose shares have slumped some 80 per cent since it listed on the stock market in 2011, rose 10.8 per cent after it sought to reassure investors over its debt situation.

European car stocks such as Peugeot and Volkswagen also climbed higher after China halved sales tax on small cars to revive growth in the world's biggest automobile market, a move likely to provide a limited boost to carmakers including Volkswagen, which has been embroiled in a global diesel emissions scandal.

Sainsbury also surged 13.6 per cent after the British supermarket group said it was on course to beat annual profit forecasts, even though it posted a seventh straight quarter of falling underlying sales.

REUTERS