LONDON, March 1 European shares gained on
Wednesday, with results driving specific stock moves, while
basic resources were the top sector performers after U.S.
President Donald Trump pledged $1 trillion of infrastructure
spending in his first speech to Congress.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.7 percent,
with Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40
outperforming peers, gaining 1 percent.
Europe's basic resources index rose 1.4 percent.
In his speech, Trump said he wanted to boost the U.S.
economy with tax relief, an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act
and an infrastructure push.
Meanwhile, comments from a handful of Federal Reserve
policymakers that suggested rate-setters are worried about
waiting too long in the face of pending economic stimulus from
Washington jolted markets into higher expectations for a March
U.S. interest rate increase.
Regional dealmaking continued apace with Spain's Banco
Sabadell, Spain's fifth-biggest bank, a top gainer, up 3.4
percent, after it said it had sold its Florida retail unit to
Iberiabank Corp for $1 billion.
Italian luxury outerwear company Moncler was a top
European gainer, up 4.4 percent after it posted an 18 percent
increase in sales for 2016, boosted by Korea, China and the
Dutch supermarket chain Ahold Delhaize was among top
gainers, up 3.8 percent after its results beat consensus
German plastics maker Covestro was the top faller, down 7.8
percent and headed for its worst ever day, after pharmaceuticals
giant Bayer said it reduced its holding in the
company from 64.2 percent to 53.3 percent, placing Covestro
shares in the market at 66.50 euros a share.
British hedge fund firm Man Group was among the
worst-performing stocks, down 6.8 percent, after its results.
The firm said total assets rose 3 percent in 2016, though weak
performance in some funds saw fee income slide.
Europe's biggest pure online fashion retailer Zalando was
down 4.1 percent after its results. It said it would invest
heavily in 2017 and create more than 2,000 jobs, announcing its
first move into physical stores.
(Reporting by Helen Reid)