European Markets Closing Report: : European markets close higher ahead of U.S. election; BNP Paribas up 6.7%


Elliot Smith, Holly Ellyatt

LONDON — European stocks closed higher on Tuesday ahead of the U.S. presidential election between incumbent President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

.FTSEFTSE 100FTSE5786.77131.802.33803374963
.FCHICAC 40 IndexCAC4805.61114.472.44114000686

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally ended up around 2.3%, with banks jumping 4.5% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses closed in positive territory.

European stocks are following a trend of positive sentiment seen elsewhere Tuesday. Overnight in the Asia-Pacific region, stocks were trading higher, and U.S. stocks rallied as investors hoped for a clear winner to emerge from Tuesday’s vote.

Heading into Tuesday, Joe Biden holds a lead in national polling over President Donald Trump. The former vice president earned 52% of support from registered voters compared to 42% for the president, according to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll from Sunday. In swing states, where the election will be decided, polling averages are tighter than the national polls.

A full day before Election Day, more than 94 million votes have already been cast in the U.S, already exceeding or nearing total levels in 2016, according to the U.S. Elections Project.

Corporate earnings remain a key driver of individual share price action. Swedish cloud services provider Sinch jumped more than 11% to lead the Stoxx 600 after reporting a sharp spike in third-quarter profits.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Danish pharmaceutical company H Lundbeck fell more than 4% after missing earnings expectations.

France’s BNP Paribas on Tuesday beat third-quarter profit expectations, sending shares of the country’s largest lender 6.7% higher.

- CNBC’s Maggie Fitzgerald contributed reporting to this story.