European Shares Advance On Earnings

European stocks advanced on Friday as Brexit optimism and positive earnings updates from the likes of Daimler and Barclays helped investors shrug off renewed concerns about the economic impact of surging Covid-19 cases.

European Union and British negotiators will meet today for intensive negotiations on a last-minute trade deal that could stave off a tumultuous finale to the five-year-old Brexit crisis.

The pan European Stoxx 600 rose 0.7 percent to 362.93 after closing 0.1 percent lower on Thursday. The German DAX climbed 0.8 percent, France’s CAC 40 index rallied 1.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 1.5 percent.

Barclays surged 7.2 percent. The British bank posted a pre-tax profit of £1.1 billion in the third quarter, compared with £200 million a year ago as bad debt provisions eased.

Miners Anglo American and Glencore rose over 2 percent while oil giant BP Plc gained 3.6 percent and Royal Dutch Shell surged 3.5 percent.

InterContinental Hotels Group dropped 1.2 percent after the Holiday Inn-owner posted a plunge in third-quarter hotel room revenue.

Swiss elevator maker Schindler Holding rallied 2.5 percent after raising its 2020 guidance.

Electrolux declined 1.5 percent. The Swedish appliance maker upped its full-year market outlook after posting its highest quarterly margin ever.

L’Oreal, the French company behind Maybelline cosmetics and Garnier shampoo, advanced 1.3 percent after it reported a return to growth in its fiscal third quarter.

Groupe ADP, an international airport operator, rose 2 percent after updating its traffic forecast for 2020.

Industrial gases provider Air Liquide jumped nearly 3 percent. The company sees 2020 net profit at almost the same level as the previous year.

Shares of Daimler AG rallied 2.2 percent after the auto giant reported higher profit in its third-quarter, despite weakness in revenues and sales volume.

In economic releases, the euro area private sector returned to negative territory for the first time since June as accelerating growth of manufacturing was offset by a sharp deterioration in the service sector amid rising Covid-19 worries, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed.

The composite output index fell to a four-month low of 49.4 in October from 50.4 in September.

Elsewhere in the U.K., the flash reading of the IHS Markit/CIPS UK Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to a four-month low of 52.9 from 56.5 in September.

Meanwhile, U.K. retail sales grew for a fifth consecutive month in September and exceeded expectations by a wide margin supported by food and online sales as well as a recovery in non-food sales, preliminary data from the Office for National Statistics showed.

The volume of retail sales grew 1.5 percent month-on-month in September, which was much bigger than the 0.4 percent increase economists had forecast. The growth for August was revised up to 0.9 percent from 0.8 percent.

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