By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
European stocks closed modestly higher Tuesday, with markets wrapping dealings in July by absorbing a new round of corporate earnings reports, including well-received results from Swiss banking heavyweight Credit Suisse.
Updates on inflation and economic growth figures from the eurozone were in focus, and investors cheered the possibility of trade talks restarting between the U.S. and China.
How markets performed
The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -1.79% closed up 0.2% at 391.61, overcoming choppy action during the session. The oil and gas and basic materials groups were top advancers, while the technology and telecommunications sectors lost the most ground. On Monday, the index fell 0.3%
For July, the pan-European benchmark ended up by 3.1%, the first monthly gain since April.
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -2.00% advanced 0.6% to end at 7,748.76, topped by mining stocks which are sensitive to developments surround China, a major metals consumer. France’s CAC 40 index /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -1.95% closed up 0.4% to 5,511.30, and ended July higher by 3.5% for the month.
Germany’s DAX 30 index /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -1.85% ended Tuesday’s session up by just 0.1% at 12,805.50, held back in part by a slump in shares of Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA. But the index closed July up by 4.1%, its best month since April.
Spain’s IBEX 35 /zigman2/quotes/210597995/delayed XX:IBEX -2.37% rose 0.1% to 9,870.70, notching a monthly advance of 2.6%.
The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD +0.2303% pulled back to trade at $1.1708, little changed from late Monday in New York.
What drove markets
Stocks wavered during the session as investors tackled a slew of corporate financial results. Among big names, Swiss lender Credit Suisse’s second-quarter profit beat expectations, putting it on track for its first annual profit in four years.
Mining shares emerged as strong performers Tuesday following a Bloomberg News report that representatives of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are privately discussing how to re-engage in negotiations aimed at averting a full-blown trade war between the world’s largest economies. In May, Mnuchin traveled to Beijing with a trade delegation for two days of talks.
Following on U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat of tariffs, the U.S. in July imposed a duty of 25% on $34 billion of Chinese goods, and China responded in kind.
“The U.S. and China have been involved in a tit-for-tat trade spat for the last few months which has weighed heavily on sentiment across the markets. So far there has yet to be positive conclusion from any of Trump’s trade talks, but that is not preventing optimism flowing back into the markets,” said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, in a note.
Miners can be sensitive to developments in China, which is the world’s largest consumer of copper, an industrial metal. The Stoxx Europe 600 Basic Resources Index /zigman2/quotes/212670217/delayed XX:SXPP -0.98% climbed 1.2%.