Europe Stocks Rally Before Christmas as Year's Losers Lead Gains

Can European Equities Return 10% in 2016?
  • All industry groups advance, led by miners, amid thin volume
  • Adidas rises after Nike's quarterly profit beats estimates

European stocks rose to a two-week high as miners and oil shares, the year’s worst performers, turned into winners before the Christmas holiday.

ArcelorMittal surged 11 percent after the U.S. government said it will tax steel imports from China at 256 percent. A gauge of commodity producers climbed the most since August as Anglo American Plc and Glencore Plc also rallied. Tullow Oil Plc led gains in energy shares as it jumped 10 percent, trimming its losses this year to 57 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 2.7 percent at the close of trading. All 19 industry groups advanced.

“The time is ready for the Santa Claus rally,” said Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank AG in Lucerne, Switzerland. “The huge rebound in some oil and basic-material stocks really fuels the rally today and people are buying the laggards of this year. It’s usual for the market to go higher the day before Christmas holidays, and the volumes are very thin so you can easily move the market.”

The volume of shares traded on Stoxx 600 companies was a fourth lower than the 30-day average. Some European markets are closed tomorrow, while others trade for fewer hours. Most reopen on Dec. 28, while U.K. markets do so on Dec. 29. While Europe’s benchmark is set for its worst December since 2002, it has still risen 7 percent this year, poised for a fourth annual gain.

The Stoxx 600 is climbing after a 2.2 percent drop in the past three days, when investors weighed the extent of a rally fueled by the Federal Reserve’s first rate increase since 2006 and its effect on global markets. Reports yesterday boosted confidence in the U.S. economy, while China’s leaders indicated earlier that they’ll do more to support expansion.

Among shares active on corporate news, Adidas AG added 2.4 percent after peer Nike Inc. posted quarterly profit that beat estimates and allayed concern about slowing growth in China. Syngenta AG gained 2.5 percent after its chairman told Finanz und Wirtschaft the company is in advanced talks with competitors about a possible combination.

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