European markets just had their first good day all year.
Share indexes in major European nations, with the exception of Russia, all ended Tuesday in the green. France and Germany led the gains, with the UK and Italy not far behind. While shares on the continent had a good day, many stuttered towards the end of trading, and tempered some of their gains.
In Britain, the FTSE 100 had its best day of 2016’s seven trading days, closing at just over 1% in the positive, well above gains seen on January 5th, its only other positive day so far this year. This was despite the release of some pretty terrible data about UK industrial production, which contracted by 0.7% in November.
The FTSE was led higher by the supermarket sector, with Tesco shares ending up by more than 6.5%, and Sainsburys gaining 3.3%. Shire, the pharmaceutical company about to buy American firm Baxalta, also had a bumper day, gaining more than 4.5%.
This is what the FTSE looked like at the close:
And here’s a snapshot of where the other major European share indexes closed on Tuesday evening:
- Germany’s DAX30 — up 1.62%
- France’s CAC40 — up 1.56%
- Italy’s FTSE MIB — up 0.98%
- Spain’s IBEX 35 — up 0.31%
- Portugal’s PSI20 — up 1.75%
- Euro Stoxx 50 — up 0.89%
Earlier on Tuesday, the Chinese stock markets also rallied, ending the day with marginal gains. The CSI 300 closed up by 0.7%, not a huge bump, but given the horrific performance of shares in the country so far in 2016, it’s a definite victory.
In the commodities sector, oil had an up-and-down day, falling early in the day, before recovering to positive territory, and then slumping again. As of 4:35 p.m. GMT (11:35 a.m. ET) both major benchmarks were down more than 3%, with US crude just $0.26 above the dreaded $30 per barrel mark.
Metals struggled on the day, with zinc, nickel, and copper all touching multi-year lows.
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