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Europe close: Shares end near session highs

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Tuesday 21 Nov 2017

Europe close: Shares end near session highs

(ShareCast News) - Stocks finished near their best levels of the day, possibly influenced by the latest German poll results which might help coax the country's politicians to return to the negotiating table in order to help thrash out a stable government coalition - or face the voters again.
Snap polls conducted on 20 November showed voter support for Germany's Free Democrats slip, with a poll from Infratest showing a sharp 13 point decline to 32% in voters' support for FDP leader Christian Lindner, analysts at Citi pointed out to clients.

At the weekend, the FDP walked out of coalition talks, possibly setting the stage for new elections, although speaking on Monday afternoon Chancellor Angela Merkel didn't quite rule out governing in minority, although it was patently not her preferred option.

By the close, the Stoxx 600 was higher by 0.44% or 1.71 points to 388.10, alongside a rise of 0.83% or 108.88 points to 13,167.54 for the German Dax and a 0.48% or 25.70 point advance for the Cac-40 to 5,366.15.

In parallel, the single currency was up by 0.12% to 1.1745 while front month Brent crude futures were trading up by 0.01% to $62.28 a barrel on the ICE.

Commenting on the price action in markets, David Madden at CMC Markets said: "Stocks in Europe are in positive territory as optimism is seeping into the markets. Despite the sluggish start equities got off to today, the sentiment turned positive, and now they are firmly in positive territory.

"Carmakers like Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW are underpinning the rally in the DAX. Yesterday Volkswagen announced plans to invest €40 billion in electric vehicle technology. It wouldn't be a surprise if others in the sector follow suit. Today, the VDA, the German Association of the Automotive Industry claimed that it will enjoy record output in 2018."

Also boosting sentiment were reports Westminster had offered Brussels to double the size of its divorce bill to £40bn, which might allow Brexit talks to proceed.

There was little out in terms of economic data for traders to chew on.

On that note, Switzerland's trade surplus slipped from 2.8bn Swiss francs in September to 2.4bn for October, according to the Federal Customs Administration.

The above aside, there was only the result of the Belgian central bank's consumer confidence survey for November at 1500 GMT left on the agenda.

German construction outfit Hochtief was in the spotlight after announcing it had clinched a €15bn syndicated bank facility to finance the purchase of Abertis.

Shares of Mediaset ended lower even after JP Morgan lifted its recommendation on the shares from 'underweight' to 'neutral'.

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