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Eurozone Economy Continues to Exude Strength: 5 Great Picks

The latest IHS Markit PMI data for the Eurozone shows that the currency bloc’s economy expanded at a slower rate this month. However, the composite PMI reading remained at a level which indicates that economic activity remains firm across the region. Meanwhile, consumer confidence hit record levels, reflecting the inherent strength of the region’s economy.

Further, hiring for the manufacturing sector has increased to its fastest pace in more than a decade. Other economic indicators were also encouraging, setting the stage for a possible round of tapering from the European Central Bank. Given the continued strength exhibited by the Eurozone’s economy, it makes sense to invest in stocks from the region at this time.

Growth Eases But Remains Firm, Key Indicators Upbeat

On Tuesday, IHS Markit revealed that its composite PMI for the Eurozone had declined from 56.7 in September to 55.9 in October. However, any reading above the level of 50 indicates that economic expansion is taking place. This means that the indicator remains at an appreciably high level. Additionally, hiring for the manufacturing sector hit its highest level since 1997. This is a result of a substantial inflow of orders, bolstered by a rise in export demand.

Further, an index of manufacturing hit its highest level in six years, increasing from 58.1 in September to 58.6 in October. Additionally, employment in the service sector has also increased. Germany witnessed its largest increase in new orders in more than six years during this month. Meanwhile, business activity continued to increase in France. Notably, France’s employment growth hit its highest level in nearly 10 and a half years in October.

Consumer Confidence Hits 16-Year High, Stage Set for Tapering?

Coming to official data, the European Commission’s monthly gauge for consumer sentiment increased from -1.2 to -1.0 in October, according to data released on Monday. This is the highest level experienced since April 2001. This reading follows a strong increase in retail sales within the currency bloc. According to data from IHS Markit, retail PMI for the Eurozone hit its highest level in three months in September. The readings for France and Germany are at their highest in two months.

The stage is therefore set for a round of tapering from the ECB. The Eurozone’s central bank is widely expected to announce a reduction in bond purchases at its next meeting scheduled on Thursday. However, it is widely expected that the ECB’s accommodative policy stance will last at least until the end of 2018. This is because inflation remains well below the targeted level, leading to a lack of consensus on the pace of tightening within the ECB.

Our Choices

Despite the small decline experienced this month, economic activity within the Eurozone continues to remain at an appreciably high level. Consumer confidence has hit record levels and hiring remains strong across key economies, notably France, which is experiencing such a high rate of job creation for the first time in several years.

Adding stocks from the Eurozone to your portfolios looks like a profitable option at this point. However, picking winning stocks may prove to be difficult.

This is where our VGM Score comes in. Here V stands for Value, G for Growth and M for Momentum and the score is a weighted combination of these three scores. Such a score allows you to eliminate the negative aspects of stocks and select winners. However, it is important to keep in mind that each Style Score will carry a different weight while arriving at a VGM score. 

Deutsche Lufthansa Aktiengesellschaft DLAKY is an aviation company which operates within Germany and on an international scale. The company’s headquarters are in Cologne, Germany.

Lufthansa has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and a VGM Score of A. The company has expected earnings growth of 6.3% for the current year. The stock has gained 139.4% year to date.

Peugeot S.A. PUGOY is involved in the automobile, automotive equipment and related financial businesses. Its operations are conducted within Europe as well as in other countries and regions. The company’s headquarters are in Rueil-Malmaison, France.

Peugeot has a Zacks Rank #1 and a VGM Score of A. The company has expected earnings growth of 47.3% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 2% over the last 30 days. The stock has gained 44.7% year to date.

Luxottica Group S.p.A. LUXTY is a world leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of high quality eyeglass frames and sunglasses in the mid and premium priced market segments. The company’s headquarters are in Milan, Italy.

Luxottica has a VGM Score of B. The company has expected earnings growth of 10% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 0.7% over the last 30 days. The stock has gained 4.4% year to date. The stock has a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Bayer Aktiengesellschaft BAYRY produces a broad range of health care, crop protection, polymer, and chemical products. The company’s headquarters are in Leverkusen, Germany.

Bayer has a Zacks Rank #2 and a VGM Score of A. The company has expected earnings growth of 10.4% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 1.4% over the last 60 days. The stock has gained 31.6% year to date.

Arkema S.A. ARKAY is engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of vinyl products, industrial chemicals, and performance products. The company’s headquarters are in Colombes, France.

Arkema has a Zacks Rank #2 and a VGM Score of A. The company has expected earnings growth of 39.2% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 0.2% over the last 30 days.  The stock has gained 27.4% year to date.

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Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DLAKY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Bayer AG (BAYRY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PEUGEOT SA (PUGOY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Arkema SA (ARKAY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Luxottica Group, S.p.A. (LUXTY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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