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Sept. 19, 2019, 4:58 a.m. EDT

Banks pace European stock market rise

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By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch


Getty Images
Pedestrians walk past a branch of the Bank of Ireland near the Grand Canal Dock, in Dublin on January 8, 2019.

Banks led European stock markets higher on Thursday, as central banks across the globe loosen monetary policy while making it easier for lenders to obtain short-term financing.

After European markets closed on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates and Chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed would just temporary open market operations to cap overnight interest rates for the foreseeable future. The Swiss National Bank on Thursday held interest rates at -0.75% and made a change that would make parking reserves at the central bank less costly for banks.

The European Central Bank took a similar step last week. Even the one central bank that hiked rates, the Norges Bank of Norway, cut its view of how high interest rates will go in the future. No change from the Bank of England is expected when the latest interest rate decision is announced at 7 a.m. Eastern, or noon local time.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.34%  added 0.35% to 390.76, with gains for lenders including the Bank of Ireland /zigman2/quotes/204220078/delayed IE:BIRG +0.10%  , Commerzbank /zigman2/quotes/200193353/delayed DE:CBK -0.89%   and Bankia /zigman2/quotes/205465641/delayed ES:BKIA +1.57%  .

The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +0.29%  added 0.24% to 12419.31, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +0.27%  gained 0.42% to 5644.34 and the U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.33%  increased 0.24% to 7331.34.

Of other companies in the spotlight, U.K. retailer Next /zigman2/quotes/200704121/delayed UK:NXT +0.48%  fell over 4% after holding its outlook for the year for 0.3% pretax profit growth. First-half pretax profit rose 2.7% on 3.7% sales growth.

IG Group /zigman2/quotes/204134958/delayed UK:IGG +1.86%   rallied nearly 9% as the U.K.-based trading platform said fiscal first-quarter revenue was flat and that the business “performed well” as it grew active clients and client trading activity.

Spectris, maker of scientific instruments /zigman2/quotes/204153035/delayed UK:SXS +1.54%   rose 5% after reaching a deal to sell its BTG Group, a provider of services to the paper industry, to Voith GmbH for €319 million.

/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
431.98
+1.46 +0.34%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 17, 2020 5:50p
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/zigman2/quotes/204220078/delayed
IE : Ireland: Dublin
4.13
+0.0040 +0.10%
Volume: 1.25M
Feb. 17, 2020 4:30p
P/E Ratio
9.54
Dividend Yield
3.88%
Market Cap
€4.43 billion
Rev. per Employee
€480,949
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200193353/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
6.68
-0.06 -0.89%
Volume: 6,701
Feb. 18, 2020 8:17a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
€166,016
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205465641/delayed
ES : Spain: Madrid
1.71
+0.03 +1.57%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 17, 2020 5:38p
P/E Ratio
9.64
Dividend Yield
5.48%
Market Cap
€5.22 billion
Rev. per Employee
€258,915
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed
DAX
DX : Xetra Indices
13,783.89
+39.68 +0.29%
Volume: 57,400
Feb. 17, 2020 6:30p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
6,085.95
+16.60 +0.27%
Volume: 58,001
Feb. 17, 2020 6:05p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
7,433.25
+24.12 +0.33%
Volume: 373,357
Feb. 17, 2020 4:59p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200704121/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
7,162.00 p
+34.00 +0.48%
Volume: 173,487
Feb. 17, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
15.85
Dividend Yield
2.34%
Market Cap
£9.13 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204134958/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
689.20 p
+12.60 +1.86%
Volume: 451,177
Feb. 17, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
17.08
Dividend Yield
6.27%
Market Cap
£2.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204153035/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
2,765.00 p
+42.00 +1.54%
Volume: 167,734
Feb. 17, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
67.55
Dividend Yield
2.26%
Market Cap
£3.21 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...

Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch markets editor for Europe. Follow him on Twitter: @MKTWgoldstein.

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