European markets ended with increases on Thursday as investors assessed new round of financial reports and comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen before the US Congress.
The pan-European index Stoxx 600 ended the day 0.36% higher as majority stock groups closed in green.
Telecoms were the best performing stocks after it became clear that the British regulator Ofcom prepares establishment of a separate unit that can monitor the performance of the TV VT. The company’s shares jumped 3.4 percent. Moreover, the French telecommunications group Altice has plans to launch online banking until early 2019 in Europe.
Shares of retailing companies rose as a result of past financial statements. French retailer Casino said it is confident about its profit targets after strong sales in France. Its shares rose 4%.
At the same time it became clear that the British Sports Direct has bought 25.75% stake in the retailer of video games, Game Digital, as its shares rose more than 1 percent.
The health sector, however, feel the pinch in afternoon trading. The price of shares of the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca fell 3.7 percent after news that its chief executive Pascal Soriot might join the Israeli pharmaceutical group. Analysts interpret news as a signal that the results of experiments on cancer drug may fail.
The automotive sector showed signs of recovery after a difficult morning. Daimler reportedly sold more than 1 million vehicles with higher emissions as a result of which its shares fell by 1.12 percent.
German retailer Metro ended with separation into two companies. Metro will now be only retailer of groceries and consumer goods division will be called Ceconomy.
The rating of Umicore, a multinational technology company from Brussels, got upgraded by ABN Amro, which raised the company’s shares by 3.7%.
Online retailer Asos announced 32 percent jump in sales for the first four months to June, mainly due to consumers outside Europe and the USA. The price of shares in Asos rose by 0.86%.
Finnish stainless steel producer Outokumpu was among the biggest losers in the European benchmark, losing more than 8% after revising down its outlook for the second quarter.