LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE helped lead European stocks higher as the Stoxx Europe 600 got a lift of 0.7 percent.
The French luxury brand rose 7.5 percent to 154 euros or $170 and was on track for its biggest one-day gain since February 2015. LVMH reported second-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations with revenues rising 4 percent versus the forecast of 2.9 percent. The improvement in sales came as a surprise following the string of terrorist attacks in France.
The market was cheered by the strong performance of the group’s core Louis Vuitton brand as well as the wine and spirits division — plus LVMH’s decision to sell the long-struggling Donna Karan International to G-III for $650 million. Champagne and wine revenue rose by 6 percent in the first half of the year, while cognacs and spirits increased by 11 percent. Consumer demand in China experienced a rebound and LVMH is planning to expand product facilities at both Hennessy and in Champagne.
Perfume and cosmetics revenues rose a healthy 8 percent, while watches and jewelry grew by 4 percent. Fashion and leather was flat. Excluding Japan, LVMH said it was seeing improving trends out of Asia.
Separately, Puma, which is owned by Kering said its total sales rose by 7 percent in the most recent quarter to 826.5 million euros or $933.3 million. Bjørn Gulden, chief executive officer of Puma, said sales were on track with double-digit organic growth. He noted a continued improvement in sell-out as the brand gradually regains popularity after a prolonged slump.
The good news caused other luxury, fashion and retail stocks to rise in sympathy. Hugo Boss AG rose by 4.49 percent, Salvatore Ferragamo Italia climbed by 4.18 percent and Debenhams jumped by 4.06 percent.
The luxury brands seemed pleased that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to introduce a new economic stimulus plan next week and it could be valued at more than 28 million yen. The decision should come on Friday as to whether it will actually happen.
The European stock market was also helped by Apple’s better than expected earnings. Two European Apple suppliers Dialog Semiconductor and AMS each climbed more than 3 percent on that news.
All the positive stock momentum managed to overcome the collapse in profits at Deutsche Bank.
The exuberance of the European markets did not carry over to U.S. markets. The S&P 500 closed down 2 points to 2,166 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 1 point to 18,472. Only the Nasdaq market moved higher by 29 points to 5,139 based on the results from Apple. And while LVMH got a good bounce from the sale of DKI, the stock market continued to question the deal when it came to G-III: the company’s shares were essentially flat at $39.66 in trading Wednesday after two days of sharp declines.