By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) — Stock markets climbed across Europe on Tuesday following a report that the European Central Bank is considering buying corporate bonds to further stimulate the eurozone’s ailing economy.
The advances came following a turbulent trading day on Monday, when major benchmarks closed with sharp losses. Last week, many indexes slumped to one-year lows amid concerns the eurozone could slip back into recession after Germany showed renewed signs of economic weakness.
ECB stimulus: Several media reported the ECB may start to buy corporate bonds in the secondary market to beef up its stimulus program. Citing people familiar with the situation, Reuters reported the ECB could decide on the purchases as soon as December , and the first purchases could occur in early 2015.
“If [the] reports are true, then the ECB is moving even closer to outright QE,” said analysts at Brown Brothers Harriman in a note on Tuesday.
The Wall Street Journal, however, said that no specific plans have been discussed and that there is no timetable. A spokesperson from the ECB told MarketWatch that the Governing Council “has taken no such decision” about purchasing corporate bonds.
Tuesday’s market reaction: The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD +0.0371% dropped on the ECB news, trading at $1.2723, down from $1.2800 late Monday.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.86% gained 2.1% to close at 323.74, bringing it into positive territory for the week.
Germany’s DAX 30 index /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -0.91% added 1.9% to 8,886.96, while France’s CAC 40 index /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.80% rose 2.3% to 4,081.24. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.27% picked up 1.7% to 6,372.33.
Earnings boost: Swiss biotech company Actelion Ltd. jumped 3% after it said strong sales of a new drug helped lift earnings in the third quarter, prompting an upgrade to its full-year guidance.
Akzo Nobel NV /zigman2/quotes/209835399/delayed NL:AKZA -1.65% /zigman2/quotes/209835399/delayed NL:AKZA -1.65% climbed 4.9% after the Dutch painting and chemicals company said profits rose 32% in the third quarter.