European Stocks Close On High Note On Earnings, Stimulus Hopes

(RTTNews) - European stocks closed on a bright note on Friday, riding on some encouraging earnings reports and mild optimism about U.S. fiscal stimulus sometime in the foreseeable future.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were "just about there" in discussions over a new stimulus deal, but indicated that it may not be signed before the presidential election.

News about USFDA's nod to Gilead Sciences' antiviral drug remdesivir as a treatment for Covid-19 helped lift sentiment, even as worries about rising coronavirus cases fresh lockdown measures in severl countries persisted.

The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 0.62%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 surged up 1.29%, Germany's DAX advanced 0.82% and France's CAC 40 climbed 1.2%, while Switzerland's SMI ended 0.25% up.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Russia and Spain posted solid gains.

Denmark, Poland and Sweden moved up marginally.

Netherlands ended flat, while Turkey and Ukraine were weak.

In the UK market, Rolls-Royce Holdings climbed nearly 7.5%. Barclays Group surged up 7% after reporting a pre-tax profit of £1.1 billion in the third quarter, compared with £200 million a year ago as bad debt provisions eased.

Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC Holdings, Standard Chartered and Smiths Group gained 4 to 5%.

British Land Company, IAG, Taylor Wimpey, BAE Sytems, Vodafone Group, BT Group, Melrose, Natwest Group and Rentokil Initial also rose sharply.

On the other hand, Pearson, Just Eat Takeaway.Com, Ocado Group and Hikma Pharmaceuticals lost 1 to 2%. Intercontinental Hotels declined following a drop in third-quarter room revenues.

In the German market, MTU Aero Engines rallied more than 5.5%. Lufthansa gained nearly 5.5% and Merck moved up 3%. Thyssenkrupp, Linde, Fresenius Medical Care, Wirecard, RWE, Fresenius and Munich RE also ended with strong gains.

Daimler and Volkswagen closed notably higher, while BMW edged down. Daimler reported higher profit in its third-quarter, despite weakness in revenues and sales volume.

In France, Safran, Airbus Group, Michelin, Accor, BNP Paribas, Air Liquide, Societe Generale, Orange and Schneider Electric closed sharply higher.

Technip fell more than 6%, while Kering and Dassault Systemes lost 3% and 2.7%, respectively.

In economic releases, the euro area private sector returned to negative territory for the first time since June as accelerating growth of manufacturing was offset by a sharp deterioration in the service sector amid rising Covid-19 worries, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed.

The composite output index fell to a four-month low of 49.4 in October from 50.4 in September.

Elsewhere in the U.K., the flash reading of the IHS Markit/CIPS UK Composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to a four-month low of 52.9 from 56.5 in September.

Meanwhile, U.K. retail sales grew for a fifth consecutive month in September and exceeded expectations by a wide margin supported by food and online sales as well as a recovery in non-food sales, preliminary data from the Office for National Statistics showed.

The volume of retail sales grew 1.5% month-on-month in September, which was much bigger than the 0.4% increase economists had forecast. The growth for August was revised up to 0.9% from 0.8%.

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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