Europe Stocks Rise First Time in Three Days Amid Holiday Seasonby and
Stoxx 600 is heading for its worst December since 2002
Exporters push Germany's DAX to biggest gain of major indexes
European stocks climbed amid thin trading, trimming their worst December drop since 2002.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 1.4 percent at the close of trading, with the volume of shares changing hands 39 percent lower than the 30-day average. All industry groups gained except miners. Markets will shut on Friday for New Year. Some including Germany, Switzerland and Italy, will also close on Thursday for New Year’s Eve, while others will have shorter trading hours.
Equities are recouping some losses in the final weeks of the year, after sliding earlier this month amid disappointing stimulus measures by the European Central Bank and a deepening rout in commodity and crude prices. A rebound in miners and energy producers since then added to the Stoxx 600’s fourth straight annual advance.
“I’ll be happy to see a rally today and tomorrow -- that would certainly help sentiment,” said Teis Knuthsen, chief investment officer at Saxo Bank A/S’s private-banking unit in Hellerup, Denmark. “I did think that the final couple of weeks would end on a more upbeat note. Financial markets have had a tendency this year to focus on only one thing at a time, and at the moment it’s oil.”
Gains of 2.1 percent or more in K+S AG and Bayer AG pushed a gauge of chemical companies to the best performance among industry groups. Drugmakers Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc and Morphosys AG advanced more than 3.4 percent.
Germany’s DAX Index posted the biggest gain among major western-European benchmarks, rising 1.9 percent. France’s CAC 40 Index and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index advanced at least 1.4 percent.
The FTSE 100 Index added 1 percent as U.K. exchanges resumed trading after the Boxing Day holiday. Miners hindered gains in the benchmark, with Anglo American Plc sliding 6.3 percent.
The Stoxx 600 is heading for an annual advance of 7.9 percent. It lost a big part of this year’s gains amid concern over global growth, just as the Federal Reserve raised its interest rates for the first time in almost a decade. After surging as much as 21 percent to a record in April, the Stoxx 600 slid 12 percent through yesterday. It’s down 4.1 percent this month.