Europe Markets: Europe stocks set to log weekly gains, but Danske Bank under pressure

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European stocks were set to close the week on a positive note Friday, though losses in the financial sector were keeping a lid on gains as Danske Bank AS tumbled on news of a U.S. probe.

What are markets doing?

The Stoxx Europe 600
SXXP, +0.27%
 rose 0.1% to 377.04, after Thursday’s loss of 0.2%.

For the week, the pan-European gauge was so far up 0.9%, but down just over 3% year to date.

Germany’s DAX 30
DAX, +0.44%
 rose 0.2% to 12,003.27, while France’s CAC 40
PX1, +0.43%
 rose 0.2% to 5,340.15. The U.K.’s FTSE 100
UKX, +0.26%
 was up 0.2% to 7,299.32.

The euro
EURUSD, -0.2053%
traded at $1.1691 from $1.1691 late Thursday, while the pound
GBPUSD, -0.0915%
was changing hands at $1.3101 from $1.3109.

What is driving the market?

Europe stocks took inspiration from a largely positive session across Asia, and an upbeat one in the U.S. on Thursday. U.S. stock futures pointed to a modestly higher session for Friday.

Growing upbeat sentiment surrounding global trade were also helping to underpin gains. A fresh round of trade talks could take place later this month after the White House reportedly extended an invitation to Chinese officials. As well the Turkish central bank’s move to bolster its currency on Thursday also helped foster some appetite for risk.

Economic data from the U.S. was swinging into focus in the afternoon, as data showed retail sales for August rising 0.1% by the smallest amount in six months.

In the U.K., Brexit was in the headlines again after Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney reportedly told Prime Minister Theresa May and her cabinet on Thursday that a no-deal exit from the European Union would cripple the country’s economy.

Read: BOE’s Carney warns U.K. could lose 10% of its jobs to automation

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What are strategists saying?

“Encouraging news that Trump’s administration seeks to start negotiating with China again to resolve their trade differences is helping investors’ sentiment,” said Konstantinos Anthis, head of research at ADS Securities, in a note to clients.

Stock movers

Banks were in the spotlight, with Danske Bank AS
DANSKE, -2.97%
 dropping 3% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. was probing money laundering allegations. Citigroup Inc.
C, -0.51%
and Deutsche Bank AG
DBK, -0.11%
DB, +1.07%
 were also identified by that whistleblower as being involved in the transactions, the report said.

Shares of Deutsche Bank fell 0.5% and Citigroup was off 0.2% in premarket trading in the U.S.

Shares of Investec PLC
INVP, +6.38%
 surged 7%, the best performer in the Stoxx Europe 600 after the investment bank said it would spin off and separately list its asset-management unit.

Ryanair Holdings PLC
RY4C, +1.30%
rose 1.8%. The airline said it was close to reaching a collective labor agreement with its Italian-based cabin crew.

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