European stocks were gaining ground on Thursday as hopes for another round of government stimulus for the virus-stricken U.S. economy coupled with upbeat earning updates from the likes of Daimler and Unilever helped investors look past an escalation in Sino-U.S. tensions.
Meanwhile, a survey showed German consumer morale improved more than expected heading into August.
Market research group GfK said its forward-looking consumer sentiment index rose to -0.3 points from revised -9.4 in July. The expected reading was -5.0.
Gfk said German consumers are gradually putting the coronavirus shock of earlier this year behind them. A V-shaped trend is currently emerging for the consumer climate.
The pan European Stoxx 600 rose 0.42 percent to 375.03 after losing 0.9 percent on Wednesday.
The German DAX and France’s CAC 40 index gained about 0.6 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 0.7 percent.
Shares of Daimler AG soared 6 percent. After reporting wider loss and weak sales volume in its second quarter hurt by the virus-related lockdowns, the auto giant said that it started seeing first signs of sales recovery amid Covid-19 pandemic, and expects to record an operating profit in fiscal 2020.
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG surged 7.7 percent. The precision mechanical engineering company has agreed to sell the German-Swiss Gallus Group to the Swiss packaging group benpac holding.
French drinks group Pernod Ricard advanced 2.7 percent after lifting its FY20 organic profit outlook from recurring operations.
Publicis Groupe SA shares jumped 13 percent. The world’s third-biggest advertising company beat expectations for underlying sales in the second quarter and said it continued to record significant wins in new business across the world.
Unilever soared almost 8 percent as it beat analyst expectations of a drop in sales in its latest half-year results. Second-quarter underlying sales declined just 0.3 percent versus expectations of a 4.3 percent drop.
Risk insurance and reinsurance provider Beazley Group jumped 6 percent. The company swung to a loss in the first-half after setting aside $170 million for coronavirus-related claims.
Security contractor G4S climbed 6.3 percent after posting a higher-than-expected first-half operating profit.
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