By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
European stocks on Monday ended the quarter with a mild gain, capping three months of turmoil on the political and economic front.
Up 0.35% to 393.15 on the day, the Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.57% has climbed 2.2% for the quarter. The U.S. S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.84% is up 1.2% over the same period.
European stocks are much cheaper than their U.S. counterparts, reflecting worries about the area’s low growth. According to J.P. Morgan data, the Euro Stoxx 50 has a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.6, compared to 18.1 times for S&P 500 components.
Top gainers in Europe for the July-to-September period include telecoms group Altice Europe , French supermarket chain Casino Guichard /zigman2/quotes/203038848/delayed FR:CO +0.03% and U.K. aerospace firm Cobham , each with gains of over 40%.
Losers included software firm Micro Focus International /zigman2/quotes/207956281/delayed UK:MCRO -0.25% , down 47% over the last three months, U.K. bank CYBG , which has dropped 42%, and steel maker Evraz /zigman2/quotes/202291633/delayed UK:EVR -0.75% , down 32%.
The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -0.61% rose 0.38% to 12428.08, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.44% gained 0.66% to 5677.79 while the U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.10% declined 0.24% to 7408.21.
Attention is turning to U.S.-China trade talks scheduled for October. A Treasury Department spokeswoman over the weekend said there no current plans to block Chinese companies from listing in the U.S., after a published report unsettled markets on Friday.
Whitbread /zigman2/quotes/207954631/delayed UK:WTB -0.17% shares fell 3.9% as Barclays downgraded the U.K. owner of Premier Inn low cost hotels to equal-weight, with the bank saying the firm’s investment case is “muddled.”
Swedish Orphan Biovitrum /zigman2/quotes/202392250/delayed SE:SOBI -24.32% slumped nearly 6% after reaching a pact to buy Dova Pharmaceuticals .
Electricite de France /zigman2/quotes/201783867/delayed FR:EDF +0.97% shares rose 1.9% after the power firm said it will receive about 400 million euros in compensation for closing a nuclear power plant early.