European Stocks Rise as Retailers' Jump Offsets Oil Firms' Loss

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U.S. Confirms North Korea Rocket Was ICBM

European stocks rose for the second time in three days as a rally in financial services companies and retailers offset declines in oil and gas firms.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.2 percent at the close. It fell 0.3 percent in thin trading Tuesday, extending losses in the final minutes before the close. Retailers jumped 0.9 percent today, while financial services companies posted the biggest gain in almost three weeks. Energy shares fell the most in the index as oil declined for the first time in nine days.

  • The U.S. confirmed that a rocket launched by North Korea Tuesday was an intercontinental ballistic missile. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called it a “new escalation of the threat” to the U.S. and its allies that would be brought before the United Nations Security Council.
  • Electricite de France SA dropped 1.3 percent after HSBC Holdings Plc downgraded the shares, saying recent gains had gone too far. Enagas SA dropped 0.8 percent after Deutsche Bank AG cut its rating to hold from buy
  • Investors are also waiting for minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting, due after European markets close. Traders are pricing in at least even odds of a rate increase by December, Fed fund futures show.
  • Among shares active on corporate news, Persimmon Plc climbed 2.4 percent after saying it expects first-half operating margin to “comfortably exceed” that of the preceding six months.

— With assistance by Elena Popina

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