European stocks jump in first half of 2021 with ‘old economy’ in vogue


European stocks are neck and neck with their US rivals in the first six months of 2021 after trailing Wall Street for most of the coronavirus crisis, reflecting the widening rally across the global equities market.

MSCI’s broad barometer of European shares has raced ahead by almost 15 per cent in euro terms since the end of last year, outpacing the 13 per cent gains for American equities, tracked in US dollars. A rise in the greenback this year has eaten into the price returns for foreign investors in European stocks, however, leaving the MSCI Europe gauge up a slimmer 12 per cent on a dollar basis.

Investors in European shares have benefited as sectors considered to be sensitive to economic fluctuations such as banks and energy companies have gained favour as countries have lifted curbs on social activity. Since April, when economies on both sides of the Atlantic emerged from long periods of lockdown, enthusiasm for US tech stocks that had…

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