European stocks rise as Daimler earnings lift automakers

Daimler AG sign is pictured at the IAA truck show in Hanover, Germany

European stocks hit a record high on Friday after strong U.S. and China data spurred optimism about a speedy global recovery, while automakers got a boost following Daimler’s better-than-expected profit.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.1% by 0706 GMT, on course for its seventh straight week of gains. The German DAX also gained 0.1%, while UK’s FTSE 100 was up 0.4%.

Global stocks stood near record highs after data showed China’s economic recovery quickened sharply in the first quarter from last year’s deep coronavirus-led slump.

German car and truck maker Daimler gained 2.1% as higher vehicle prices and strong demand in China helped it post a better-than-expected surge in quarterly operating profit. The wider auto index rose 1%.

German meal kit delivery firm HelloFresh jumped 5.6% after its first-quarter preliminary results beat expectations, leading to a 2021 outlook hike.

Lancome maker L’Oreal slipped 1.8% despite posting a further pickup in sales in the first quarter.

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