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European stocks ahead as IMF upgrades world economic outlook

European markets moved higher on Tuesday as the IMF lifted its outlook for growth in the world economy (Victoria Jones/PA)
European markets moved higher on Tuesday as the IMF lifted its outlook for growth in the world economy (Victoria Jones/PA)

European markets moved higher on Tuesday as an influential global organisation lifted its outlook for growth in the world economy.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the global economy is expected to grow by 3.1% this year and 3.2% next year, driven by greater strength in the US and as the Chinese government rolls out fiscal support.

The upgrade appeared to give traders a boost, with top European stock markets closing in the green.

London’s FTSE 100 was lifted by banking stocks with NatWest, Barclays and Lloyds among the biggest risers of the day.

It was up 33.57 or 0.44% to close the day at 7,666.31.

In Frankfurt, the Dax was up 0.18% and in Paris, the Cac 40 closed 0.48% higher.

Axel Rudolph, a senior market analyst at online trading platform IG, said: “European stock indices ended the day on a positive note as the IMF raised its 2024 growth forecast, despite it lowering Germany’s from 0.9% to 0.5% this year and Eurozone sentiment weakening slightly.

“Preliminary fourth quarter GDP (gross domestic product) showed that France, Germany and the euro area avoided technical recessions by narrow margins.”

Over in the US, it was a cautious start to trading, with the Federal Reserve set to announce interest rates for the nation on Wednesday. The S&P 500 was more or less flat and Dow Jones was up about 0.15% by the time European markets closed.

The pound was down 0.2% against the US dollar to 1.2683, and down 0.3% against the euro to 1.1696.

The price of Brent crude oil was up 0.8% to 83 US dollars per barrel.

Diageo financials
Guinness owner Diageo revealed its profits had fallen as it found some shoppers were shifting toward cheaper drinks (Liam McBurney/PA)

In company news, shares in Diageo rose 0.91% despite the business reporting a slump in profits over the last six-month period.

The business said that operating profit was 3.3 billion US dollars (£2.6 billion) in the last six months of the calendar year. That is 11.1% lower than the same period a year earlier.

SSP, the business behind sandwich-maker Upper Crust, revealed a 17.1% increase in like-for-like sales in the last three months of 2023, in part because there were fewer strikes than a year earlier. Shares in the business closed down 0.27%.

Shares in Deliveroo fell 3.12% after one of the company’s biggest shareholders decided to offload its stake in the delivery firm.

Berlin-based Delivery Hero, which first invested in Deliveroo in 2021, revealed that it would sell around 4.5% of Deliveroo’s shares.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were 3i Group, up 64p to 2,497p, Auto Trader, up 17.4p to 738p, Pershing Square, up 82p to 3,804p, NatWest Group, up 4.6p to 227.2p, and WPP, up 15p to 795.6p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Airtel Africa, down 6.2p to 114.3p, Mondi, down 47.4p to 1,424.4p, Entain, down 23.2p to 957.4p, DS Smith, down 5.6p to 284.7p, and Ocado, down 10.8p to 554.8p.