European markets mostly higher on French debate; Next however fell 5.1%

European markets

Earnings in Europe rose on Thursday’s close right after being signalled by the debate which seems centrist Emmanuel Macron surpassing his rival far-right Marine Le Pen before the presidential election in France on Sunday.

Bank stocks were one of the leading advancers as HSBC released a higher-than-expected earnings outcome. Regardless of posting a plunge by 19 percent in pre-tax profits, the British banking company settled 2.8 percent higher.

Basic resources however struggled to get gains, it fell more than 2.3 percent following the advance in the U.S. currency and the immediate slump of metal prices. Retail was also on the negative territory, with Next almost touching the bottom of the European Stoxx 600, sales of this British home product and clothing retailer dropped by 5.1 percent.

Nevertheless, Stoxx 600 rose 0.67 percent. DAX in Germany notches new record highs, and the French CAC 40 touches its best level since January 2008.

Meanwhile gas and oil were one of the poor performing sectors, after increasing global supply concerns have hit the market and urged much lower prices. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures declined 3.8 percent to be sold a $45.99 per barrel, and Brent crude dropped about 3.7 percent at $48.91 per barrel. The Royal Dutch Shell however posted a year-end 136 percent small increase in first quarter profits. The British-Dutch oil and gas company marginally rose in shares.

On the French presidential election, investors restored confidence last Thursday, following a sharp Elabe poll showing that Macron outperformed his Eurosceptic opponent by getting 63 points against Le Pen’s 34 points after the pair argued regarding their views for the country’s future.

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