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Market Update

Rally in Oil Lifts European Stocks, H&M Reveals Aggressive Expansion

Author: Lucy Stoeva
Last Update: 7:31 PM ET April 06 2016

4:00 PM Frankfurt, Germany - European stocks moved higher after oil rallied and positive economic data from China. Pfizer and Allegan deal worth $160 billion was canceled after U.S. put up tax hurdles. H&Mís net profit dropped 30%, but the retailer revealed aggressive expansion plans.

European markets moved higher on Wednesday in a volatile trading session. Energy stocks soared on a rally in oil prices, while positive economic data on China supported the broader market.

Energy stocks were among the biggest gainers after the U.S. oil supplies dropped and Kuwait said major oil producers are likely to freeze the output at an upcoming meeting in Doha.

Brent crude oil futures rose 1.7% to $38.52 per barrel and WTI crude oil futures surged 2.5% to $36.80 per barrel.

European pharmaceutical stocks recorded strong gains after Pfizer canceled its plans for the $160 billion takeover of Allergan. Shares of Allergan jumped 3.6%, Shire gained 5.2%, and AstraZeneca advanced 4.5%.

In China, the Caixin services PMI increased to 52.2 in March, from 51.2 in February, indicating growth momentum was intact in manufacturing sector.

The euro gained 0.31% against the dollar to $1.1417, harming the export-oriented companies in Germany.

In London, the FTSE 100 gained 30.12, or 0.49%, to 6,121.35, while in Frankfurt, the DAX index underperformed and lost 26.46, or 0.28%, to 9,536.90.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index added 3.23, or 0.08%, to 4,253.51.

Air France-KLM AF dropped 3.2% to Ä7.90 after chief executive Alexandre de Juniac announced to step down in July and lead IATA, the International Air Transport Association.

Barry Callebaut AG jumped 8.3% to 1,111 Swiss francs after the chocolate maker reported sales in the first-half ending in February increased 5.6% from a year ago period to 3.42 billion Swiss francs.

Net profit fell to 18.5% to 107.9 million francs, mainly due to currency effects and a weak cocoa products market.

The company confirmed its mid-term targets for annual sales growth between 4% and 6%.

EasyJet Plc fell 3% to 1,476 pence after the discount airline said growth in the number of passengers slowed down and the load factor dropped.

In March, the number of passenger rose 4.3% to 5.7 million from the same period last year, but the growth rate was lower than in the previous months.

The load factor, or the number of passengers relative to the number of seats available, fell from 92.6% a year ago to 91.3%.

H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB, better known as H&M, surged 5.4% to 279.6 Swedish kronor after the fashion retailer announced plans for further expansion, along with its quarterly results.

Net profit in the three months ended Feb. 29 fell 30% to 2.55 billion Swedish kronor from a year ago, because the strong dollar increased its cost of supplies. Another reason for the decline was the mild weather in the winter.

Sales in the quarter increased to 43.7 billion kronor from 40.3 billion kronor a year ago.

H&M is rapidly expanding its store network and offering more products in more markets online.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc