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European stocks push back toward record highs; aluminum producers surge after coup

European stocks jumped out of the gates on Monday, tracking gains out of Asia as investors took the view that weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data last week will keep the Federal Reserve’s tapering plans at bay for longer.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index
XX:SXXP
rose 0.5% to 474.27, after closing modestly lower last week. Monday’s gains have put the index 0.3% away from its record close of 475.83 reached Aug. 13, 2021. The German DAX
DX:DAX
rose 0.6%, and the French CAC 40
FR:PX1
and FTSE 100
UK:UKX
were up 0.5% each.

U.S. stock markets will be closed on Monday in observance of the Labor Day holiday. Stocks finished mixed on Friday after data showed that the U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in August, far fewer than the forecast for an increase of 720,000, though the previous two months data showed upward revisions.

The data cast a shadow over the continuing recovery in the U.S. and raised questions about whether the Federal Reserve could delay its long-anticipated plan to start tapering asset purchases.

Asian stocks climbed as investors in those markets got their first chance to react to the data and European equities followed suit. Data from Germany on Monday, meanwhile, showed manufacturing orders reaching a historic high in July, against expectations for a fall.

An outperformance by the German DAX was helped by a 4% gain for remote access and remote control computer software Teamviewer
XE:TMV.

The main German index is facing the biggest shake-up in its history, with 10 new members from DAX’s midcap index being ushered in of September 20. Those include aerospace group Airbus
XE:AIR,
e-commerce retailer Zalando
XE:ZAL,
biotech and medical company Siemens Healthineers
XE:SHL,
flavors and fragrance group Symrise
XE:SY1,
meal-kit group HelloFresh
XE:HFG,
pharmaceutical and laboratory equipment supplier Sartorius
XE:SRT,
Volkswagen investor Porsche Automobil Holding
XE:PAH3,
chemical distribution group Brenntag
XE:BNR,
sports retailer Puma
XE:PUM
and diagnostics company Qiagen
QGEN.

Most of those companies have seen double digit gains so far this year, with HelloFresh surging 154% this year.

Stephan Flaegel, chief product officer, indexes and benchmarks at index compiler Qontigo, a unit of the Deutsche Börse, said in a press announcement that the changes will leave the DAX with a wider spectrum of Germany’s capital market.

Luxury goods makers were also on the rise Monday, with shares of Christian Dior
FR:CDI
climbing 3% and Burberry
UK:BRBY
and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton
FR:MC
up 2% each.

Norsk Hydro
NO:NHY
was another big gainer for Monday, with shares of the Norwegian aluminum and renewable energy company up 5% after an apparent coup in the mineral rich West African nation of Guinea. Shares of aluminum giant United Company Rusal International
HK:486
surged 14% in Hong Kong trading.

Militants say they removed President Alpha Conde by force on Sunday. Conde sought a controversial third term in office last year, and has been critizied for not improving the lives of Guineans, many of whom live in poverty even amid the country’s vast mineral riches, which include the biggest bauxite reserves in the world.

Bauxite is used to produce alumina, then aluminum, prices of which soared to 15-year highs in Asia and climbed in London on Monday, noted analysts. Aluminium is among industrial metals with the most bullish fundamentals currently, which has boosted prices by 40% this year.

Driven by the prospects for strong demand increasing the visible deficit in China and the West, the news from Guinea may further increase the deficit through rising supple threats. China, the biggest producer of aluminum source more than half of its Bauxite, a feedstock used to make alumina, which is further processed into aluminum from Guinea,” said the Saxo Bank strategy team, in a note to clients on Monday.

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