Stocks across Europe enjoyed a pretty strong day on Tuesday after a few spots of positive news helped drive investors in the continent to buy.
In Britain, the blue-chip FTSE100 rebounded from yesterday’s three-year lows and finished the day 1.69% in the green, up 97.6 points, thanks to a rare day in positive territory for the index’s commodity stocks.
Earlier in the day, Anglo American and Glencore popped by 11% and 9% respectively, but by the close were up by around 2.5% and 5%. Shares in both companies have lost more than 70% of their value since July 2015, and have wiped upwards of £30 billion from their combined market capitalisations.
As well as miners, the FTSE’s financial firms had a good day, with asset managers Schroders, Prudential, and Man Group, as well as insurers Old Mutual and Aviva among the top gainers.
Fewer than ten stocks on the FTSE100 ended Tuesday down, with gold producer Randgold Resources the worst performer, slipping by around 2%. Here’s what the FTSE looked like at the close:
On the smaller cap FTSE250, online grocery retailer Ocado was the day’s success story, finishing up by 7.2%, having seen gains of as much as 18% on Tuesday morning, after media rumours that Amazon is preparing a bid for the company.
Across the rest of Europe, all the major bourses enjoyed substantial gains. Here’s a snapshot:
- Germany’s DAX 30 — up 1.49%
- France’s CAC 40 — up 1.97%
- Italy’s FTSE MIB — up 0.98%
- Spain’s IBEX 35 — up 1.05%
- Eurostoxx 50 — up 1.56%
A bunch of factors worked in unison to help Europe’s markets end the day in the green — something that’s not happened a lot so far in 2016 — but the biggest was the release of China’s annual growth figures.
Growth in the world’s second largest economy slowed to 6.8% in 2015, its worst performance since the financial crisis, but met expectations for annual growth. However, monthly figures for both retail sales and industrial output came in weaker than expected. Retail sales grew just 1.1% year-on-year in December.
China’s mixed bag of data gave markets a little hope that Beijing may set into motion a fresh series of monetary easing policies by cutting interest rates.
Along with China’s growth figures, commodity stocks, and markets in general, were helped by a day of rising prices for Brent crude, the European oil benchmark. Brent popped on Tuesday, and at the European close was up by 3.5%.
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