Banks Lift Europe Stocks to Highest Since ’15 as Santander Gains

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European Stocks Soar as Stoxx 600 Gains 1.3%

European equities joined a global rally, jumping the most since November, on optimism about corporate earnings.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 1.3 percent to close at a 13-month high. Banks and insurers led gains as government-bond yields climbed and Banco Santander SA reported better-than-estimated quarterly profits. Stocks in Asia rallied, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke through the 20,000 threshold in the U.S.

  • Santander contributed the most to advances in lenders, climbing 4 percent for its biggest rise since Dec. 8. 
  • Novartis AG added 2.4 percent after proposing a $5 billion share buyback and saying it’s considering separating its embattled eye-care division.
  • Logitech International SA was the biggest gainer among Stoxx 600 shares, surging 16 percent as its third-quarter sales beat the highest analyst estimates. 
  • A rally in European shares had lost momentum this month. After boosting equities following Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president on bets of faster economic growth, investors have been unwinding some of those positions in recent sessions as he emphasized protectionist policies.
  • “With so much uncertainty over the policy agenda of the incoming Trump administration, and the populist tone of his inauguration speech, we remain skeptical over whether the reality of the reflation story will match investors’ expectations,” HSBC strategists wrote in a note.

— With assistance by Elena Popina

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