Luxury stocks, ASML lift European shares in early trading

(Reuters) – European stocks rose on Wednesday after Swiss luxury group Richemont and chip equipment maker ASML gave encouraging earnings updates, while investors hoped for a big U.S. fiscal relief package as Joe Biden takes over as the next president.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 0.2% in early trading.

European bourses mirrored an upbeat mood in global markets after U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen called for big fiscal spending by underlining the need to help the pandemic-stricken economy.

Luxury stocks gave the biggest boost after Richemont posted a 5% increase in quarterly sales, led by strong growth at its jewellery brands in Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

The group’s stock rose 4.8%, rival Swatch Group (SIX:UHR) gained 2.9%, while Britain’s Burberry jumped 4.4% after earnings update.

Germany’s Hugo Boss added 4.6% after Mike Ashley-led Frasers said it boosted its stake in the company.

ASML Holding (NASDAQ:ASML) NV rose 2.1% after it posted better-than-expected sales for the fourth quarter and said it had seen a strong order intake for 2021.

Italy’s FTSE MIB outperformed after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte won a confidence vote in the upper house Senate on Tuesday, allowing him to remain in office after a junior partner quit his coalition last week.

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