Europe’s main stock gauge climbed higher on Thursday, driving a fifth day of gains for the index, as banks and mining stocks once again doing the heavy lifting.
What are markets doing?
The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.69% rose 0.5%, after Wednesday’s gain of 0.3%. A five-day win streak would be the longest since a six-day run in July. The index is up around 1% for the week so far.
Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, +0.97% rose 0.6% to 12,292.72, while France’s CAC 40 PX1, +1.09% jumped 0.9% to 5,439.31. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, +0.44% rose 0.2% to 7,342.20.
The euro EURUSD, +0.7025% rose to $1.1752 from $1.1673 late in New York Wednesday, while the pound GBPUSD, +0.9739% was at its strongest since mid-July, buying $1.32974, compared with $1.3143 late Wednesday.
What is driving the market?
U.K. retail sales for August beat forecasts, driving the pound higher, while Brexit concerns continued to cloud the investor horizon. A European Union summit in Salzburg was under way, with leaders hoping to nudge Prime Minister Theresa May and stalled Brexit talks to a solution.
Read: Why another Brexit summit is unlikely to put investors at ease
Growing optimism over the trade picture continued to drive some gains, with metals stocks again acting as support for the overall European index. President Donald Trump earlier this week reiterated a hard-line stance on China, announcing another $267 billion in duties on China, while China responded with tariffs of 5% to 10% on $60 billion worth of U.S. products. Still, investors remain of the mind-set the two will reach agreement.
What are strategists saying?
“The fears over US-China trade are likely to persist from some time yet, but with the likes of copper (-17%), zinc (-27%), and lead (-20%) trading substantially down on the year, those with a longer-term view will see this as a great buying opportunity,” said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG, in a note to clients.
A swath of banks underpinned the main European index, led by a 2% climb for Nordea Bank NDASEK, +1.59% a 2.6% gain each for Svenska Handelsbanken AB SHBA, +2.87% and Banco Santander SA SAN, +2.56% SAN, +2.10% and a 2% gain for BNP Paribas BNP, +2.34%
Shares of Rio Tinto PLC RIO, +3.44% RIO, +2.98% surged 2.7% after the global mining company announced said it would return the proceeds of the sale of coal assets via buybacks to the tune of $3.2 billion.
Autos also climbed, with Daimler AG DAI, +2.09% up 1.6%, Volkswagen AG VOW3, +1.97% jumped 1.8%, while Volvo AB VOLVB, +2.66% climbed 2.2%. And Aston Martin priced its London listing, valuing the luxury-car maker between at up to 5.07 billion pounds ($6.66 billion).
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