European stocks close green as travel stocks rise

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European stock markets closed higher on Thursday as investors monitored economic data and travel stocks rose after Ryanair (RYA.L) raised its long-term traffic forecast.

The German DAX closed up 0.2%, the Stoxx Europe 600 0.4% and the French CAC 40 0.6%. The Swiss market index rose 0.4% and the FTSE 100 index in the UK edged up 0.2%.

The euro area trade surplus reached € 20.7 billion ($ 24.4 billion) in July, down from € 18.1 billion in June, but lower than the € 26.8 billion recorded a year earlier, Eurostat said.

The vacancy rate in the euro area stood at 2.3% in the second quarter, down from 2.1% in the previous quarter and 1.6% a year ago, Eurostat said. Across the European Union as a whole, the vacancy rate was 2.2%, above 2% in the previous quarter and 1.6% in the quarter of the previous year.

New vehicle registrations plunged 22% year-on-year in the UK to 68,033 units, according to data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, or ACEA. In the first eight months of 2021, the UK registered 1,101,302 vehicles, 20.3% more than a year ago.

On the business side, Ryanair (RYA.L) rose 8% after raising its five-year traffic growth forecast to 50% from 33%, as it anticipates delivery of 210 B737 Gamechanger jets over the next five years. years.

Continental (CON.F) shares fell 16% after the spin-off of Vitesco Technologies (VTSC.F). Vitesco gave up its intraday gains, ending down 1% on its first day of trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Ashtead Group (AHT.L) rose more than 5% after saying it planned to exceed its initial revenue growth target for 2021 after reporting a 71% increase in profits in the first quarter. Equipment rental company Ashtead now expects its revenue to increase by 13% to 16%, compared to its initial forecast of 6% to 9%.

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