Key points:

  • The STOXX 600 target for 2024 has been increased to 510 from 500.
  • Reasons: improving economy and, as a result, a possible reduction in rates.
  • The decline in output in the eurozone has slowed and consumer prices are falling.

On Thursday, European shares experienced an ascent driven by positive corporate earnings, propelling French and German companies to achieve record highs. Simultaneously, investors were scrutinizing remarks made by Christine Lagarde, the President of the European Central Bank, regarding the deflationary dynamics in the eurozone.

France’s CAC 40 index demonstrated a 0.9% increase, nearing an intraday record high, with Renault emerging as a leading gainer in the market.

European shares showed impressive growth

Renault’s stock experienced a surge of 6.5% following the announcement of elevated profits and a substantial rise in dividends. This positive development further propelled the European auto index to reach a level close to its highest point in nearly two years.

Additionally, the CAC 40 index received a boost from the nearly 2% increase in Pernod Ricard shares, as the spirits maker maintained its unchanged long-term growth ambitions. Furthermore, shares of the recycling company Tomra witnessed a remarkable jump of 30.9%, while developer Fortnox soared by 20.1%, both spurred by fourth-quarter results that surpassed expectations.

Goldman Sachs raises target for European STOXX 600 index

Goldman Sachs increased its 2024 target for European stock indexes on Thursday, pointing to the improvement in economic activity, potential interest rate reductions, and appealing valuations. Consequently, the Wall Street firm revised its forecast for the STOXX 600 index to 510, up from the previous estimate of 500.

The most recent economic data indicated a decelerating decline in manufacturing activity in the eurozone and a decrease in consumer prices. These developments coincide with ongoing discussions among global central banks, including the European Central Bank (ECB), regarding the prospect of implementing rate cuts.

Goldman Sachs highlighted the positive impact of falling energy prices and ample gas supplies on Europe, particularly as the region is a net energy importer.