The main European stock markets were up in the week from the 21st to the 25th of April 2014 (Stoxx 600 index +0.3%, London +0.9%, Frankfurt -0.1%, Paris +0.3%, Milan -0.8%), on the back of positive German business confidence data (IFO index) and supporting commentary by ECB governor (euro exchange rate becoming more important in setting monetary policy). Friday trading was highly volatile owing to rising military tension between Ukraine and Russia. Healthcare stocks were the best performing in the week (+2.5%) due to significant M&A announcements.
Auto & Parts stocks underperformed and closed down by approximately 2 percentage points (-2.1%). Mass auto makers led the losses, following Q1 2014 sales data weighted down by the devaluation of the main currencies versus the euro.
Pirelli shares closed the week at 11.97€, down 2.1% in line with sector. Daily average volume traded was approximately 3.3 million shares. March tyre market data was published during the week, with car replacement sales growing in all key markets; according to broker CITI, noteworthy is the ongoing positive performance of the replacement market in Brazil, less influenced by high interest rates in the area as compared with the auto market; the continuous growth in Brazilian car parc, moreover, supports the positive outlook for the tyre market in the region. Pirelli consensus target price stood at 12.67€ with over 80% of analysts recommending to Buy or Hold the shares.