Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

Europe Stocks Gain as Food, Banks Stocks Jump Offset Retailers

European stocks advanced for the first time in three days as a rally in food and beverage firms offset a plunge in retailers.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.7 percent at the close, with all but two industry groups in the green. Automakers outperformed after data showed European car sales rebounded in May. Retailers slid, following U.S. peers lower after Amazon.com Inc. said it’s in a definitive pact to buy Whole Foods Market Inc.

  • The Stoxx 600 fell 0.5 percent for the week. It retreated 0.4 yesterday, led by retailers.
  • Analysts expect European companies to report stronger profit growth than U.S. peers for a third consecutive quarter, thanks to a recovery in the euro area after years of sluggish growth.
  • The FTSE 350 Food & Drug Retailers Index slid 3 percent as Tesco Plc. plunged to the lowest level since September, reversing a jump of as much as 4.5 percent after its first-quarter sales in the U.K. beat estimates. “Investors flipped from satisfaction at the highest profits in seven years to fears that Amazon could knock Tesco off its perch as Britain’s number one supermarket,” Jasper Lawler, an analyst at London Capital Group, said in a note.
  • Automakers rose 0.5 percent after rallying as much as 1.3 percent following the car sales data. A brightening economic outlook and political stability in France helped the sector get back on the recovery path.
  • Greece’s creditors agreed to release 8.5 billion euros ($9.5 billion) in new loans for the country, ending months of uncertainty over whether it could meet large bond payments due in July.
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