Oct 8, 2020

European Markets Closing Report: European markets close higher as investors keep an eye on U.S. stimulus talks


Elliot Smith, Holly Ellyatt

European stocks closed higher Thursday with global investors keeping an eye on ongoing stimulus discussions in the U.S.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up by 0.9% provisionally, with oil and gas shares jumping 1.8% to lead the upward momentum, while basic resources slid 0.2% lower.

The positive trend in European markets comes as U.S. stocks climbed on optimism around a potential smaller coronavirus package. This comes after the Dow on Wednesday posted its best day in months as investors await updates on the ongoing fiscal stimulus discussions.

President Donald Trump tweeted support for aid to airlines and other stimulus measures, stoking hopes that a smaller aid package could be passed by lawmakers. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday rejected the idea of a standalone bill for aid carriers without a larger stimulus deal.

Federal Reserve officials expressed concern during their September meeting that the U.S. economic recovery could stall if Congress didn’t pass more fiscal stimulus, according to released minutes.

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher in Thursday trade, with shares in Hong Kong lagging among the region’s major markets.

On the data front, German exports rose for the fourth consecutive month, growing 2.4% in August after a 4.7% rise in July, according to figures released Thursday by the Federal Statistics Office. 

In terms of individual share price movement, airplane engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce rallied more than 26% to lead the Stoxx 600 in afternoon trade, while British Airways parent IAG surged 10%.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, British investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown both fell by more than 4%.

- CNBC’s Pippa Stevens and Jeff Cox contributed to this market report.

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