Europe stocks on cusp of longest win streak since summer

Europe stocks on cusp of longest win streak since summer

Banks, mining stocks lead the gainers for a second day

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, +0.67% 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, +0.95% rose 0.6% to 12,292.72, while France’s CAC 40 PX1, +1.14% jumped 0.9% to 5,439.31. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, +0.34% rose 0.2% to 7,342.20.

The euro EURUSD, +0.6939% rose to $1.1752 from $1.1673 late in New York Wednesday, while the pound GBPUSD, +0.8522% 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.

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.

Stock movers

A swath of banks underpinned the main European index, led by a 2% climb for Nordea Bank NDASEK, +1.61% a 2.6% gain each for Svenska Handelsbanken AB SHBA, +3.25% and Banco Santander SA SAN, +2.07% SAN, +2.22% and a 2% gain for BNP Paribas BNP, +2.66%

Shares of Rio Tinto PLC RIO, +3.40% RIO, +2.22% 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, +1.65% up 1.6%, Volkswagen AG VOW3, +1.48% jumped 1.8%, while Volvo AB VOLVB, +2.40% 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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