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Europe Shares Gain, VW Drives German DAX to Fresh Record High

  • German industrial orders fall unexpectedly in Oct
  • Holiday group TUI rises after FY outlook upgrade
  • Merck tanks after MS drug fails in late-stage trials
  • British American Tobacco drops on impairment charge

Dec 6 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Wednesday, led by miners and travel and leisure stocks, while Germany's benchmark DAX scaled a fresh all-time high on a boost from carmaker Volkswagen.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1% by 0930 GMT, hitting a fresh four-month high, while the Germany's DAX also added 0.1%.

Basic resources gained 1.5%, tracking a rise in most base metal prices, while stocks in the travel & leisure sector rose 1.2% as TUI jumped 10% after Europe's biggest travel operator forecast a sharp jump in operating profit in 2024.

Equities were further supported by eurozone government bond yields, which edged down to multi-month lows.

Focus was also on the U.S. November ADP national employment report after a drop in October job openings to more than a 2-1/2-year low on Tuesday boosted expectations that the Federal Reserve's monetary policy tightening cycle was over.

"We're basically arguing about when rate cuts might be coming, but they are going to be first in Europe as it was sort of first into the economic downturn," said Ben Laidler, global markets strategist at investing platform eToro.

Data showed a surprising decline in German industrial orders in October, down 3.7% month-on-month, reinforcing expectations of European Central Bank rate cuts next year following a dovish shift from German ECB board member Isabel Schnabel on Tuesday.

Among individual stocks, Germany's Volkswagen climbed 2.7% after an audit of its jointly owned site in Xinjiang, China, found no signs of forced labour.

Weir Group advanced 3.9% as the engineering firm forecast operating margin of 20% in 2026 and raised its absolute savings target.

Ocado Group rose 1% after J.P.Morgan upgraded the online supermarket and technology group's stock to "neutral" from "underweight".

Merck tanked 13.2% to the bottom of STOXX 600 after the pharmaceutical company's experimental multiple sclerosis drug evobrutinib failed to meet the primary goal in late-stage trials.

British American Tobacco lost 7.7% after saying it would take a hit of around $31.5 billion on writing down the value of some U.S. cigarette brands.

Reporting by Khushi Singh and Ankika Biswas in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala and Dhanya Ann Thoppil

Source: Reuters

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