European markets open to close, Fed minutes, data and earnings

LONDON – European stocks ended sharply higher on Thursday, building on gains in the previous session.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed up 2%, with mining stocks jumping 5.6% to lead gains while food and beverage stocks fell 0.1%.

In terms of individual share price action, Danish shipping giant Maersk rose 7.1% on a positive analogy from Chinese rival COSCO’s first-half trading update, according to Reuters.

Tenaris shares rose 9.8% after Jefferies upgraded the Luxembourg-based steel pipe maker’s stock to a buy from a hold.

At the lower end of the Stoxx 600, Danish life sciences company Chr. Hansen fell 9.8% after a disappointing quarterly report, while Ladbrokes owner Entain fell 6.6% after downgrading its full-year guidance.

Sterling ticked higher as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned from his government on Thursday after more than 50 resignations amid a series of scandals.

Britain’s FTSE 100 Index was last up 1.1%.

European markets built on Wednesday’s gains, with the European blue chip index closing up 1.7%.

Investors also digested the latest Fed minutes released on Wednesday, in which central bank officials reiterated their tough stance on inflation and said another 50- or 75-basis-point move could be expected at the March 26-12 meeting July 27 would be “probably appropriate.”

Federal Reserve officials recognized that a “more restrictive stance” on policy might be appropriate if inflation persists, even as it slows the economy, the meeting minutes said.

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On Wall Street, stocks were higher on Thursday as investors digested the Fed’s latest meeting minutes.

The European Central Bank released minutes of its latest meeting on Thursday, showing that policymakers were discussing a higher rate hike in July than the 25 basis points eventually planned.

On the data front, German industrial production rose less-than-expected in May, rising 0.2%m/m versus a consensus forecast of 0.3% and falling 1.5%m/y.

— CNBC’s Ryan Browne and Jeff Cox contributed to this market report. European markets open to close, Fed minutes, data and earnings

Joshua Buckhalter

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