Markets

European stocks close higher as investors track U.S. stimulus talks; Rolls-Royce surges 14%

Key Points
  • Rolls-Royce surged 14% as investors keep faith in the British airplane engine manufacturer's rights issue announced last week.
  • The London Stock Exchange agreed to sell Milan's Borsa Italiana stock exchange to Euronext for 4.3 billion euros ($5 billion).

LONDON - European markets closed higher Friday as investors monitored talks on a fresh coronavirus relief package stateside.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up by 0.6% provisionally, with basic resources and travel shares both adding 1.5% to lead gains, while autos fell 0.9%. For the week, the Stoxx 600 logged a 2% gain.

President Donald Trump revived hopes of a stimulus deal on Thursday, telling Fox News that talks between the White House and Congress were back underway and that there was a good chance an accord could be reached. This comes just days after the president announced via Twitter that negotiations were off until after the Nov. 3 election.

But on Friday, the major averages on Wall Street hit their session highs after Trump tweeted: "Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!"

Back in Europe, the U.K. economy grew 2.1% in August on a monthly basis, according to figures published Friday by the Office for National Statistics, well below analyst expectations of a 4.6% expansion as the country's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic slowed.

The London Stock Exchange on Friday agreed to sell Milan's Borsa Italiana stock exchange to Euronext for 4.3 billion euros ($5 billion). Euronext shares fell over 4%.

At the bottom of the Stoxx 600, Swedish Orphan Biovitrium plunged nearly 18% after a topline phase three testing announcement.

At the top of the European blue chip index, Rolls-Royce surged 14% as investors keep faith in the British airplane engine manufacturer's rights issue announced last week, while Pandora shares climbed more than 17% after the Danish jeweler hiked its profit guidance.