European Stocks Slightly Higher Amid Spate of Earnings, Oil Prices Retreat From Two-Year High

European equity benchmarks were marginally higher on Tuesday morning as the earnings season continued, while the gains were muted after oil prices retreated from a two-year high reached during the previous session.

The gains "stem from another positive close on Wall St, with more record highs to boot, and gains across the board for major Asian bourses overnight," Michael van Dulken, head of research at Accedo Markets in London, said by e-mail.

Brent, the international oil benchmark, fell 0.5% on Monday morning, to $63.93 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate, the US crude benchmark, dropped 0.2% to $57.23 per barrel. On Monday, both benchmarks surged, hitting their highest since mid-2015 after Saudi Arabia's crown prince's move to crack down on corruption.

In economic news, euro region retail sales rose 0.7% in September from August, when it posted a 0.1% monthly drop, Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office said on Tuesday. Economists had expected a 0.6% gain for September, according to a poll provided by

The Europe-wide STOXX 600 index was 0.1% higher with most sectors trading in a positive territory.

In equities, oil stocks held onto gains coming from Monday's spike in crude prices with BP gaining 1.3% in London and Total rising 1% in Paris. Shares in basic resources stocks also remained higher, with Rio Tinto up by 0.7% and Antofagasta gaining 0.6%.

Tobacco company Imperial Brands jumped 2.6% in London after reporting a 7% increase in adjusted earnings per share to 267 pence in the year ended Sept. 30. Associated British Foods fell 3.3% even after saying group revenue in the year through Sept. 16 rose 6% when adjusted for currency swings.

French lender Credit Agricole rose 1.2% after saying its Indosuez Wealth Management unit agreed to buy a majority stake in Italy's Banca Leonardo. Luxury goods company LVMH dropped 0.8% in Paris.

Reinsurer Munchener Re rose 0.8% and Deutsche Bank gained 0.7% in Frankfurt. Dialog Semiconductor fell 8% even after strong third-quarter earnings as it gave a cautious outlook for the fourth quarter.

The euro-region blue-chip STOXX 50 index was 0.1% lower, Frankfurt's DAX gained 0.2%, London's FTSE 100 and Paris' CAC 40 in Paris were both flat at the time of writing.

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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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