European Equities Rebound as Lenders, Automakers Lead Advance

European stocks rose after their biggest drop in five months, led by banks and carmakers, as investors assessed the region’s growing slew of political events that now includes a snap general election in the U.K.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.2 percent at the close in London. Carmakers rose after European car sales in March surged to their highest level on record, while shares of banks tracked bond yields higher, jumping the most since the beginning of March. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index dropped for a second day, erasing its gain for the year.

  • Bernstein heads into next week’s French election with a slightly hedged exposure to equities overall and a neutral position on Europe, according to a note. A time may come soon to call for an overweight in Europe, the firm said, though it would not be prudent to increase allocations ahead of the French vote.
  • Among shares active on corporate news, Burberry Group Plc fell 7.8 percent after fourth-quarter retail comparable sales missed estimates.
  • Traders are pulling back from bets the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by June after a weaker-than-expected March jobs gain and a surprise monthly drop in consumer prices. The odds of a hike slipped to 47 percent from more than 60 percent earlier this month, based on a gauge compiled by Bloomberg.
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