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18 Mar 2021 | 08:34

Europe open: Shares push ahead after Fed pledges low rates

(Sharecast News) - European shares opened higher on Thursday after strong showings in Wall Street and Asia overnight as the US Federal Reserve pledged to maintain low interest rates despite forecasting a surge in economic growth. The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.23% in early trade. Germany's DAX outperformed with an 0.85% increase as automakers drove the market, while the UK's FTSE 100 was flat ahead of the Bank of England's monetary policy decision due later in the day.

US Treasury 10-year yields rose again after the Fed decision, sparking rises in automakers, banks, miners and travel & leisure.

In equity news, Volkswagen jumped 3.1% while Porsche was up 5.3%.

National Grid shares fell after the company agreed to buy Western Power Distribution from PPL Corp of the US for £7.8bn and to sell Narragansett Electric to PPL for $3.8bn (£2.7bn) to shift its business towards electricity.

Shares in National Express fell after the transport operator swung to a loss in 2020 as it took a hit from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ocado stock was in the red after the online supermarket said it expects positive revenue growth in the second quarter after reporting a 40% rise in revenue for the 13 weeks to the end of February as more Britons had their groceries delivered during the current national lockdown.
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