Europe's Stoxx 600 hits highest point since December 2015

Jasper Jolly
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A sign of the Swiss banking giant UBS is
No stopping the upward movement for European stocks (Source: Getty)

Stocks across Europe have risen as a cluster of mergers and a share in the Trump trade boosted investor sentiment.

The Euro Stoxx 600, which tracks large companies from across Europe including the UK, hit its highest point in almost 13 months, after rising at its fastest rate since the day after Trump’s election on Wednesday.

It hit 368.85 points in early afternoon trading on the continent, the highest since 29 December 2015.

Read more: Dow Jones 20,000: US index reaches historic heights

Banks were among the leaders of gains, with a steepening yield curve promising higher profitability on lending money for longer periods.

Rising government bond yields in response to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy tightening promise a move back towards pre-financial crisis margins for banks.

Meanwhile, construction giants have also benefited from the promise of US President Donald Trump to build a giant wall on the border with Mexico.

Read more: Donald Trump to lay the foundations for Mexico border wall

The rises come as fourth quarter earnings across the Stoxx 600 index are expected to increase by 13.3 per cent year on year, according to David Aurelio, senior research analyst at Thomson Reuters.

“In aggregate, companies are reporting earnings that are 26.7 per cent above estimates, which is above the 4 per cent long-term (since 2011) average surprise factor, and above the 4 per cent surprise factor recorded over the past four quarters,” said Aurelio in a report.

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