Markets

European Markets Close Higher, Breaking From Cautious Global Sentiment; Continental Down 5%

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  • Markets in Europe received a weak handover from Asia-Pacific, where Hong Kong's Hang Seng index led the declines among major indexes as casino shares plummeted amid regulatory worries.
  • Stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped despite better-than-expected August retail sales, as the latest weekly jobless claims report pointed to a mixed economic picture.

LONDON — European stocks finished higher on Thursday, as global investors kept an eye on economic data and central banks.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.5% by the close, with travel and leisure stocks adding 3% to lead the gains. Basic resources bucked the trend, slipping 2.5%.

Markets in Europe received a weak handover from Asia-Pacific, where Hong Kong's Hang Seng index led the declines among major indexes as casino shares plummeted amid regulatory worries.

Stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped despite better-than-expected August retail sales, as the latest weekly jobless claims report pointed to a mixed economic picture.

Investors in recent days have been reacting to softer U.S. inflation data, which tempered expectations of imminent tapering of asset purchases by the Federal Reserve, and weak retail sales figures from China, which suggested a slowdown in the global economic recovery.

In other news, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz will face questions from lawmakers next Monday over suspected failings at the federal anti-money laundering agency.

The interrogation will take place days before the country's elections in which Scholz is favorite to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel with his Social Democratic Party leading in the polls.

In terms of individual share price movement, British online trading company IG Group rose 1.8% after its quarterly earnings report.

At the bottom of the index, German car parts maker Continental plunged 6% after spinning off its powertrain unit Vitesco.

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