The main European stock markets were up in the week from the 6th to the 10th of May (Milan +2.1%, London +2.5%, Frankfurt +1.9%, Paris +1.0%), reaching the highest levels since June 2008 (Stoxx 600). Investor optimism was supported by better than expected economic data (German industrial production +1.2% in March, Chinese export +14.7% in April) while efforts to stimulate growth through monetary easing continued: Australia and South Korea trimmed their benchmark interest rate by 25 bps in the week (taking rates to 2.75% and 2.5%, respectively).
Auto & Parts stocks advanced in line with the overall market (Stoxx A&P +0.8% in the week), with tyre companies gaining almost 3 percentage points. According to broker Morgan Stanley, good Q1 2013 results by tyre makers eased investor concerns about industry pricing, given the current environment of falling raw material input cost and soft demand.
Pirelli shares were up strongly in the week (+6.1%, closing at 8.7€). Daily average trading volume totaled 3.8 million shares, 10.3 million on the day following the presentation of Q1 2013 results (Pirelli closed +7.3% on that day). Results were in line with market expectations and showed an industry-leading growth in volumes (+3.9% thanks to Pirelli’s exposure to emerging markets and the Premium segment) as well as the benefits of a distinctive positioning in the Industrial business (profitability was up 50% yoy). Pirelli confirmed the 2013 targets announced in March.