European stocks gained ground Tuesday, with a slide in the euro giving a lift to exporters’ shares. Gains for auto makers and German fashion house Hugo Boss AG also helped drive the Stoxx Europe 600 index higher.
How markets are moving?
The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.73% rose 0.1% to end at 398.35, inching closer to its 2018 closing high of 400.11, logged on Jan. 9.
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.19% ended down 0.2% at 7,755.93.
The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD -0.0189% bought $1.2231, down from $1.2264 late Monday in New York.
What’s driving markets?
Stocks were finding some relief in the euro’s pullback, which can make European exports cheaper for other currency holders and more attractive for overseas buyers.
The shared currency edged back from Monday’s gain of 0.5% against the U.S. dollar, its fourth session rise in a row that sent it to a three-year high against the greenback. It advanced 2.7% over those sessions, according to WSJ Market Data Group. The euro has scaled higher in recent sessions after minutes from the European Central Bank’s meeting in December suggested there may be a hawkish shift in tone toward monetary policy.
According to media reports late Monday, Ardo Hansson, a member of the European Central Bank’s Governing Council, said the central bank could call a complete halt to its bond buying after September. Speaking in an interview with German newspaper Boersen-Zeitung, Hansson said if economic growth and inflation remain in line with projections, it would be “conceivable and also appropriate” to end the program.
European equities also tracked U.S. stock markets higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.03% surged above the 26,000 level for the first time ever, as quarterly earnings reports and economic data continued to fuel optimism on Wall Street.
Which stocks were active?
Hugo Boss AG shares /zigman2/quotes/205761551/delayed DE:BOSS -1.70% climbed 3.7% after the German apparel and accessories maker posted a 5% rise in preliminary fourth-quarter sales to €735 million ($900 million), bolstered in part by double-digit growth in the U.S.
Peugeot SA /zigman2/quotes/203546414/delayed FR:UG -4.21% tacked on 1.8% after the French auto maker said it expects a 15% rise in global sales for 2017.
Continental AG /zigman2/quotes/202192628/delayed DE:CON +1.67% rose 1.1% after Reuters reported the German auto components makers has hired J.P. Morgan to advise about a possible breakup of the company . The report cited sources familiar with the matter.
Shares of German auto makers helped lift the DAX 30, with Volkswagen AG /zigman2/quotes/203434344/delayed XE:VOW3 +0.25% and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, or BMW, /zigman2/quotes/209548467/delayed DE:BMW -1.09% rising 2.3% and 3.2%, respectively.
BP PLC /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP +0.81% fell 2.7% after the oil producer said it expects to book a $1.7 billion charge in its 2017 fourth-quarter results for claims related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Shares of plastic packaging supplier RPC Group PLC and car dealer Inchcape PLC /zigman2/quotes/203775377/delayed UK:INCH +1.16% dropped 4.4% and 2.3%, respectively, following ratings downgrades to hold from buy at Berenberg.
Associated British Foods /zigman2/quotes/204493701/delayed UK:ABF +2.18% /zigman2/quotes/204004804/delayed ASBFY +2.32% picked up 2.2% following a ratings upgrade to overweight from equal weight at Barclays.