European markets slightly higher as momentum returns; Delivery Hero jumps 15%, Volvo Cars up 7%

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Stocks on the move: Delivery Hero up 14%, Ocado down 5%

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Delivery Hero share price.

Shares of Germany’s Delivery Hero jumped 14% in late afternoon trade after Bloomberg reported that activist investment firm Sachem Head Capital Management had taken a 3.6% stake in the company and may be seeking a board seat.

After strong pandemic growth, Delivery Hero has struggled to shake off concerns over its liquidity and growth potential.

At the other end of the Stoxx 600 index, British grocery delivery firm Ocado fell 5%. The company announced Thursday that Chairman Rick Haythornthwaite will step down next year.

— Jenni Reid

Volvo shares rise after record monthly sales in March

A Volvo EX30 fully electric EV Car is displayed during the Everything Electric London 2024 at ExCel on March 28, 2024, in London.

John Keeble | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Volvo Cars shares perked up by 3.87% at 09:03 a.m. London time, after the automaker on Thursday posted record single-month sales for March.

Volvo Cars said it sold 78,970 cars last month, up by 25% on the year and an all-time high for global transactions in a single month.

The company’s new fully electric EX30 model contributed to the sales growth, alongside “strong sales performance” in Europe and the U.S., Volvo Cars noted.

Total first-quarter sales Volvo Cars, which is majority-owned by China’s Geely, came in at 182,687, up 12% from the same period of 2023.

“These numbers reflect the strength of our strategy and product diversity – offering fully electric cars alongside plug-in hybrids and mild hybrids in the right mix,” said Volvo Cars’ Deputy CEO Björn Annwall.

“We are making good progress towards our annual sales target of at least 15 per cent growth and in the months ahead we will focus on ramping-up sales of our EX30.”

Ruxandra Iordache

Sweden’s central bank signals first interest rate cut could take place as soon as May

The Swedish flag hangs on the country’s central bank.

Bloomberg / Contributor / Getty Images

Sweden’s central bank could go ahead with a first interest rate cut next month, according to minutes of the latest March policy meeting, published on Thursday.

“A first rate cut is expected in May or June, and apart from inflation prospects, many analysts mention that the timing will depend on the development of the krona and when other central banks cut their policy rates, in particular the ECB,” the minutes noted.

“Market pricing indicates a policy rate just over 3 per cent towards the end of 2024. The Riksbank’s updated forecast for the policy rate is expected to indicate a relatively high probability of a policy rate cut during the first half of the year and one or more further cuts in 2024.”

In late March, the central bank opted to keep its policy rate unchanged, with the key interest rate at 4%, citing inflationary pressures it assessed were “still somewhat elevated” at the time.

Market participants are closely watching which central bank will next tread the path of the Swiss National Bank, which last month trimmed its main policy rate by 0.25 percentage points to 1.5%.

Ruxandra Iordache

CNBC Pro: Tesla short-seller names 2 auto stocks to own — giving them 100% upside

A Tesla short-seller has named two auto stocks that he believes have the potential to deliver 100% upside to investors.

Lekander, who holds a short position in Tesla shares, has said the EV carmaker could “go bust” while its stock could fall to $14. Short-sellers profit when shares fall.

The hedge fund manager said that the “Tesla bubble” had created what he called an “anti-bubble” in the auto sector, causing investors to be overly bearish on companies that are actually performing well.

Lekander named the two auto stocks that could double in share price from current level as the Tesla bubble deflates. CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

CNBC Pro: Thinking of investing in Tesla? One investor gives the stock 79% upside

Some investors may be hesitant about buying Tesla right now, but one analyst is bullish on the stock.

Over the last 12 months, the stock of Elon Musk’s auto giant has plunged by nearly 14.5%.

Shares also took a hit on Tuesday, after Tesla delivered far fewer cars than expected by analysts polled by FactSet in the first quarter of the year.

One global autos analyst, however, sees opportunities in investing in Tesla, particularly in the longer term.

“The stock, despite this performance today, is only down like 4.5%, which makes me think that expectations are already really low,” Tom Narayan from RBC Capital Markets told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on April. 3.

He also outlined other opportunities he sees in both the short and longer-term.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Amala Balakrishner

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European markets are set to open higher Thursday.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 7 points higher at 7,936, Germany’s DAX up 1 point at 18,371, France’s CAC 9 points higher at 8,161 and Italy’s FTSE MIB up 26 points at 33,908, according to data from IG. 

Wednesday is light on the corporate earnings front, but inflation data is due out of the euro zone and Turkey.

— Karen Gilchrist

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