European Stocks Close Higher As Focus Shifts To Earnings

(RTTNews) - European stocks closed slightly higher on Monday with investors largely focusing on results and indulging in stock specific activity.

Easing worries about China Evergrande's debt woes aided sentiment. Markets looked ahead to the upcoming policy meeting of the European Central Bank, scheduled to take place on Thursday (October 28).

Traders await hints on when the central bank might start raising historically low interest rates or tweak the pace of bond buying under its massive pandemic-era stimulus program.

British finance minister Rishi Sunak is scheduled to present the country's budget on Wednesday. It is widely expected that the budget will include an extra £5.9 billion of spending for the health service over the next few years.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.07%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 advanced 0.25%, Germany's DAX climbed 0.36% and France's CAC 40 declined 0.31%, while Switzerland's SMI ended 0.06% up.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Poland, Russia, Spain and Turkey closed higher.

Finland, Greece, Norway, Portugal and Sweden ended weak, while Belgium and Netherlands closed flat.

Shares of miners found support as copper prices advanced after reports that inventories in Shanghai exchange warehouses dropped to a more than 12-year low.

Energy stocks were in demand as crude oil prices continued to surge higher.

In the UK market, Antofagasta, BHP Group, Rio Tinto, Anglo American Plc, Pershing Square Holdings, Evraz, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Scottish Mortgage gained 1.5 to 3%.

HSBC Holdings gained nearly 2% after reporting a surprise 74% rise in third-quarter profit.

Glencore, CRH, B&M European Value Retail, Tesco, Whitbread, Associated British Foods and Barclays Group also closed notably higher.

BAE Systems, Smiths Group, London Stock Exchange Group, Flutter Entertainment, Rolls-Royce Holdings, Intertek Group and Imperial Brands lost 1 to 1.7%.

In France, ArcelorMittal and Technip gained about 4.5% and 4%, respectively. BNP Paribas, Michelin, STMicroElectronics, Credit Agricole, Carrefour and Sodexo posted modest gains.

Sanofi gained about 0.5%. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Sanofi announced positive results from the second Dupixent (dupilumab) Phase 3 Eosinophilic Esophagitis trial that showed significant disease improvements. Data from the clinical trial program will be submitted to regulatory authorities by 2022.

Safran, WorldLine, Vivendi, Publicis Groupe, Airbus, Valeo, LVMH, Hermes International and LOreal shed 1 to 2.5%.

In the German market, Porsche Automobil and Volkswagen both gained more than 4.5%. BMW, SAP, Qiagen, Siemens Healthineers, Covestro, Infineon Technologies, Fresenius Medical Care and Daimler gained 1 to 2.3%.

Zooplus AG shares gained 0.7%. The German online pet platform today said it supports the increased and final takeover offer of Hellman & Friedman along with its partner EQT Private Equity at a cash consideration of 480 euros per zooplus share. The revised offer represents an increase of 10 euros compared to the previous bids by H&F and EQT.

Sartorius declined more than 2%. Henkel, RWE, Deutsche Wohnen, Continental and E.ON shed 1 to 2%.

In economic news, German business confidence weakened for the fourth consecutive month in October to hit a six-month low as supply bottlenecks weighed heavily on expectations, survey results from the ifo Institute showed.

The business confidence index fell more-than-expected to 97.7 in October from revised 98.9 in September. The expected level was 97.9. This was the lowest since last April.

The current situation indicator came in at 100.1, down from 100.4 a month ago and below the economists' forecast of 99.4. The expectations index dropped to 95.4 from 97.4 in the previous month. The reading was forecast to fall to 96.4.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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