European stocks advanced on Thursday after separate reports showed business confidence in Germany and France is improving.
Germany’s ifo Institute’s business climate index rose to 101.8 in June from 99.2 in the previous month. The score was expected to rise moderately to 100.6.
According to ifo, both current assessment as well as expectations improved in June.
French statistics agency INSEE said its monthly business confidence index rose to 113 from 108 in May, hitting its highest level since July 2007 as the easing of COVID restrictions unleashed a service sector boom.
The manufacturing confidence index held steady at 107 in June, while the score was forecast to climb to 109. This was the joint-highest score since August 2018.
Meanwhile, amid conflicting signals from Federal Reserve officials on the rate outlook, traders looked ahead to the Bank of England policy announcement later in the day for further direction.
The Monetary Policy Committee is widely expected to hold the key rate at a record low of 0.10 percent and the quantitative easing program at GBP 895 billion.
Investors will be paying close attention to its tone on inflation and the outlook for rates.
The pan European Stoxx 600 jumped 0.8 percent to 456.48 after declining 0.7 percent on Wednesday.
The German DAX climbed 0.9 percent, France’s CAC 40 index rose over 1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.2 percent.
Banks Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Societe Generale, Lloyds Bank and Barclays climbed 1-2 percent as bond yields recovered.
German industrial giant Siemens fell 0.7 percent after presenting a new growth strategy.
Swiss laboratory instruments maker Tecan Group surged 11 percent after announcing an acquisition.
888 Holdings advanced 1.4 percent in London. The online gaming operator has announced an exclusive partnership with Authentic Brands Group to develop online sports betting and iGaming products for Sports Illustrated in the United States.
Bunzl added 0.8 percent. The distribution and outsourcing Group said its Group revenue in the first half is expected to increase by around 1 percent on a reported basis and 6 percent to 7 percent at constant exchange rates.
French speed-train maker Alstom SA rose 0.6 percent. The company has signed a contract worth around 130 million euros with Deutsche Bahn’s DB Regio AG.
Retailer Carrefour gained 0.9 percent after it unveiled plans to potentially restructure its foreign units.
Airbus rose about 1 percent despite regulators calling for more rigorous checks when pulling some Airbus jets out of pandemic storage.
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