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Europe open: Barclays, car makers push markets higher

Fri, 23rd Oct 2020 08:39

(Sharecast News) - European shares crept higher at the opening on Friday, kept afloat by positive third quarter earnings results at UK bank Barclays and continental car makers.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.68% with all major bourses higher, although investors maintained their cautious tone with Covid-19 cases and subsequent restrictions on the rise and the US presidential election two weeks away.

London's FTSE 100 rose as Barclays reported better than expected quarterly profits and reduced its bad debt provision for the period as the consumer business performed strongly.

Stocks in the UK were also boosted by data that showed retail sales rose in September for the fifth consecutive month as they continue to recover from the Covid-19 slump. Sales increased 1.5% on the month in September, beating expectations for a 0.4% increase.

On the year, sales were up 4.7%, coming in ahead of expectations for a 2.7% jump.

When compared with pre-pandemic levels in February, total retail sales were 3.9% and 5.5% higher in value and volume terms, respectively.

Shares in car maker Daimler rose as the firm raised its 2020 profit outlook, while Renault stock was also up after the French manufacturer said it should have positive cash flow from cars by the end of 2020 as sales recovered.

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