Europe Stocks Rise With Miners as Week of Policy Updates Begins

European Stocks Rally to a Fourth-Straight Gain

Gains in commodity producers lifted European stocks at the start of a week in which investors will focus on monetary policy cues from central banks around the world.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.4 percent at the close, with rising industrial metal prices boosting mining stocks, which snapped their longest losing streak since November 2015. The benchmark gauge has climbed 1.2 percent in March as traders priced in a potential U.S. interest-rate increase amid hawkish comments by Federal Reserve officials. The U.K.’s FTSE 250 Index closed at a record high.

  • The FTSE 250 Index of U.K. midcaps added 0.4 percent even as Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she will seek a second Scottish independence vote between fall 2018 and spring 2019.
  • The Fed announces its rate decision on Wednesday, with traders betting a hike is virtually certain; that’s followed by policy updates from central banks in the U.K., Switzerland and Japan
  • “Although the Fed rate hike is priced in at 100%, the Fed watchers will be focused on the dot plot to catch any hints regarding the future of the Fed policy,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a market analyst at London Capital Group, wrote in a note. “The Fed could steepen the rate normalization in 2017 and hike rates more than three times as anticipated until the beginning of March.”
  • The Dutch benchmark AEX Index added 0.2 percent top close at the highest level since December 2007. The Dutch head to the ballot box March 15 to elect a new parliament.
  • Among shares active on corporate news, Amec Foster Wheeler Plc surged 12 percent after John Wood Group Plc agreed to acquire it in an all-share deal that values the engineering-service provider at about 2.23 billion pounds ($2.7 billion). Wood Group closed 1.4 percent higher after rallying as much as 7. 7 percent earlier in the day.
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