European stocks finished on a positive note on Tuesday as investors cheered on the corporate earnings that beat expectations and shook off the session's price fluctuations seen in oil and sterling.
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The pan-European STOXX 600 ended up 0.95 percent provisionally, with all sectors posting gains by the close.
Earnings lift European sentiment despite pressure from oil, sterling
Sterling dips after BoE comments
European markets have been moving higher since the Brexit vote in late June caused turmoil in financial markets with easy monetary policy from central banks in the region helping stocks.
Last week, the Bank of England cut interest rates for the first time in over seven years, from 0.5 percent to 0.25 percent. Meanwhile, a stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs number in July could help the Fed's case for a rate hike, the opposite to looser monetary policy in Europe, which weighed on U.S. stocks on Monday.
On Tuesday, sterling showed signs of weakness after Ian McCafferty, an external member of the BoE's Monetary Policy Committee wrote in an Op-Ed for The Times, that the central bankcould cut rates further and boost bond purchases, if the economic downturn in the U.K. deepens. Around 4.00 p.m. London time, the U.K. sterling was down 0.45 percent against the U.S. dollar, at $1.2981.
At the same time, markets have been eyeing the fluctuations in the oil price, as concerns over a supply glut outweighed hopes of producer action to prop up prices. Both Brent and U.S. crude fluctuated between gains and losses during Tuesday's trade, currently under slight pressure at $45.30 and $43 respectively.
The fluctuation in oil kept U.S. investors on their toes during early trade, with markets trading slightly higher stateside; while in Asia, major markets advanced on Tuesday, with sentiment likely underpinned by cooling Chinese inflation data helping to spur stimulus hopes.
Aside from China's data, investors kept an eye on the Reserve Bank of India, who chose to keep its rates on hold, in its last meeting under the helm of Governor Raghuram Rajan. On the U.K. data front, June industrial output rose 0.1 percent month-on-month and, in the second quarter as a whole, it surged 2.1 percent. The increase was the biggest gain for a calendar quarter since the third-quarter of 1999, according to Reuters.
Amec Foster, Altice top the STOXX 600
In corporate news, Dutch recruitment firm Randstad announced plans to buy U.S. rival Monster for $429 million. Randstad shares reversed earlier losses to trade higher.
Online grocery delivery firm Ocado was up over 5 percent after signing a deal with British supermarket WM Morrison which will allow it to expand home delivery across the U.K. WM Morrison was also sharply higher.
And on the earnings front, commodities firm Amec Foster Wheelerreported a £446 million ($579.4 million) pre-tax loss in the first half of 2016 compared with a £73 million profit in the same time last year, sending shares near the top of the STOXX 600, just shy of 11 percent.
Netherlands-based telecoms firm Altice was the STOXX 600's best performer, up 13.5 percent after it reported a rise in second-quarter core earnings and confirmed its 2016 guidance.
The U.K.'s Worldpay also jumped 3.2 percent after it reported expectation-beating core earnings in the first half of the year. Worldpay floated on the London Stock Exchange last year.
Danish jewelry firm Pandora sunk as much as 5 percent after its second-quarter net profit missed analyst expectations. The stock pared losses later in the day.
Legal and General sank over 5 percent despite reporting a nearly 10 percent rise in first-half operating profit.
Standard Life shares were given a sharp boost after the British insurer and asset manager said its first-half assets under administration rose 7 percent, while it also increased its dividend. Shares jumped over 6 percent.
Overall, the second-quarter earnings season has been reassuring for Europe so far. Out of the 77 percent of firms in the STOXX 600 index that have reported, 61 percent have either been in line or beaten expectations, according to Reuters citing StarMine data.