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Europe markets close higher following US midterm elections

Key Points
  • U.S. midterm elections dominated investor sentiment.
  • The Democrats won control of the House of Representatives.
  • The Republicans increased control of the Senate.

European stocks moved higher on Wednesday as investors digested the results in the U.S. midterm elections.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended provisionally up by 1.03 percent with every sector in the black. Banks, retail and construction firms were among the top performers.

The FTSE 100 ended provisionally up by 1 percent, Germany's DAX by 0.8 percent, France's CAC by 1.1 percent, and Spain's IBEX by 2.1 percent.

Spanish banking stocks pushed the sector higher after a Supreme Court ruling that banks are not required to pay levies on mortgages, sparing them from potentially having to reimburse billions of euros to borrowers who for years have paid the tax themselves. Banco Sabadell rose 2.4 percent and Caixabank was 4.3 percent higher by the close.

Retail stocks traded higher on the back of earnings news. Delivery Hero rose more than 4 percent on strong third-quarter results. The German sportswear retailer, Adidas fell 3.6 percent, despite raising its profit guidance for the year.

In the U.K., house-builder firm Persimmon announced that its CEO Jeff Fairburn will leave the company at the end of the year. Fairburn said that a scandal related to a $75 million bonus was an ongoing "distraction" that had dented the company's reputation. He will receive the payout.

Midterm elections

U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday after the midterm election results came in about as expected. According to NBC news, the Democrats are set to win control of the House of Representatives. NBC News also projected the GOP would maintain control of the Senate. Investors will be monitoring the midterms' results to understand what the likely implications of the vote for U.S. policy are. Health stocks moved higher after voters in California rejected a proposal to cap profits on dialysis companies. Fresenius Medical rose 8 percent and led the gains in Europe.

In terms of data, euro zone retail sales data showed an improvement in September, indicating strong consumer demand. Eurostat said that sales jumped 0.8 percent year-on-year.