European stocks pushed higher Tuesday, with investor optimism returning ahead of the closely watched gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo., later this week.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index
jumped 0.8% to close at 375.80, halting a three-session losing skid. The pan-European benchmark fell 0.4% on Monday, in part on concerns about another flare-up in tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.
“‘Turnaround Tuesday’ is here again,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, in a note. “One day down, one day up, and so on. This is the theme of August, with markets unable so far to establish a direction and stick with it. After losses yesterday the buyers have come back in, with fresh hope of moves on U.S. tax reform apparently providing the catalyst for gains.”
“Perhaps this time we will see stock markets extend their gains into a second day; optimism surrounding Jackson Hole and potential comments on monetary policy from the dynamic duo of Draghi and Yellen could see Wednesday post a positive session as well,” he added.
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are among top speakers in Jackson Hole, with investors hoping to get hints on the future monetary policy path from both institutions.
Miners: The pan-European benchmark was also lifted by upbeat corporate updates from the mining sector, including from heavyweights BHP Billiton PLC and Antofagasta PLC.
ended up 2.1% after the miner said it’s planning to sell its onshore U.S. oil and gas operations. The decision followed a push by activist investor Elliott Management in favor of the move.
BHP also said its final dividend will be increased threefold. The miner swung to a yearly net profit of $5.86 billion, but that was weaker than anticipated.
The share-price moves helped guide the Stoxx Europe 600 Basic Resources Index
higher by 1.7%, its best session in nearly a week.
Gloom in Germany: European stocks held to higher ground even after the release of a downbeat ZEW survey on German economic sentiment. The economic-expectations index came in at 10.0, down from 17.5 in July and below the FactSet estimate of 15.0. That’s the lowest reading since October when the index was 6.2.
“The significant decrease of the ZEW economic sentiment indicator reflects the high degree of nervousness over the future path of growth in Germany. Both weaker than expected German exports as well as the widening scandal in the German automobile sector in particular have helped contribute to this situation,” ZEW President Achim Wambach said in a statement.
“Overall, the economic outlook still remains relatively stable at a fairly high level,” he said.
drifted down to $1.1765, from around $1.1771 ahead of the survey’s release. The shared currency bought $1.1817 late Monday in New York.
The ZEW survey arrived ahead of data due this week on German manufacturing and services activity in August and the final look at second-quarter gross domestic product. On Friday, the widely watched business-climate survey from the Ifo Institute is due. Last month, Ifo described German business sentiment as ‘euphoric’ and businesses were optimistic about their short-term prospects.
Stock movers: Provident Financial
tumbled 66% after the U.K.-based lender said it expects to lose between 80 million pounds ($102 million) and £120 million in the third quarter. The profit warning, the second in three months, comes after Provident shifted to using full-time “customer experience managers,” rather than self-employed agents in its home-credit business.