Rally in banks and miners push European equities to 2-week high

Reuters , Thursday 10 Nov 2016

European equities advanced for a fourth straight session to a two-week high on Thursday, pulled upwards by banks and miners, with encouraging results from companies such as Vivendi also supporting the broader market.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was last up 1.1 percent after earlier setting its highest level in more than two weeks. The index closed 1.5 percent higher in the previous session after slumping 2.4 percent earlier that day after the shock victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election.

Analysts said that investors were focusing on Trump's key policy priorities including generous tax cuts and higher infrastructure and defence spending, along with deregulation for the banking sector.

The European banking sector rose 3.4 percent, the top sector gainer, helped by gains of over 6 percent for Credit Suisse, UBS and Banco Popolare.

"The financial sector expects that under Trump's tenure, there will be less regulations. A rising rate environment is also good for their profits. I think the Fed could raise rates by 25 basis points in December and then probably two times next year," said Christian Stocker, strategist at UniCredit.

Shares in Aegon NV surged 13 percent, the top gainer in the STOXX 600 index, after the Dutch insurer reported better-than-expected earnings. It helped the European insurance index to increase more than 3 percent.

Among other sector movers, European mining index advanced 3.2 percent after copper prices jumped 4 percent to their highest level in nearly 16 months on expectations that policies under Trump could spur infrastructure spending. Prices of other industrial metals were also higher.

The European construction and materials index climbed to its highest level since late 2007 and was last up 2.4 percent. Shares in CRH rose 6.1 percent, while ACS was up 4.2 percent.

Shares in miners Antofagasta, Glencore, Anglo American and Rio Tinto advanced between 3.2 percent and 9.7 percent.

Some individual companies reacted strongly after their updates. French media giant Vivendi rose 8.8 percent after reporting a third-quarter core operating profit above forecasts following a strong performance of its music unit.

Dutch fertiliser and chemicals company OCI spiked 9.6 percent after EFG-Hermes lifted its rating on the stock to "buy", saying that a steep share price pullback was unjustified and it believed that the stock offered a solid long-term growth opportunity. 

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