Europe Markets

European markets close 2% higher; UK's Johnson resigns as prime minister

Key Points
  • Investors were digesting the latest Fed minutes, in which the central bank's officials reiterated a tough stance against inflation.
  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned on Thursday, after more than 50 resignations from his government in light of a string of scandals.

LONDON — European stocks closed sharply higher on Thursday, building on gains in the previous session.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed up 2%, with mining stocks jumping 5.6% to lead gains while food and beverages stocks dropped 0.1%.

In terms of individual share price movement, Danish shipping giant Maersk climbed 7.1% on the back of a positive read-across from Chinese peer COSCO's first-half trading update, according to Reuters.

Tenaris shares gained 9.8% after Jefferies upgraded the Luxembourg-based steel pipe manufacturer's stock to "buy" from "hold."

At the bottom of the Stoxx 600, Danish bioscience company Chr. Hansen fell 9.8% after a disappointing quarterly earnings report, while Ladbrokes owner Entain slid 6.6% after downgrading its full-year guidance.

Sterling ticked higher as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned on Thursday, after more than 50 resignations from his government in light of a string of scandals.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index was last seen trading up 1.1%.

European markets built on gains from Wednesday, with the European blue-chip index closing up by 1.7%.

Investors were also digesting the latest Fed minutes, released Wednesday, in which the central bank's officials reiterated a tough stance against inflation, saying another 50- or 75-basis-point move would "likely be appropriate" at the July 26-27 meeting.

Federal Reserve officials recognized that a "more restrictive stance" in policy could be suitable if inflation doesn't ease, even if it slows the economy, the meeting minutes said.

On Wall Street, stocks were higher on Thursday as investors digested the most recent meeting minutes from the Fed.

The European Central Bank published the minutes of its last meeting on Thursday, which showed that policymakers discussed a larger interest rate hike for July than the 25 basis points it eventually earmarked.

On the data front, German industrial production rose by less than expected in May, expanding by 0.2% month-on-month against a consensus forecast of 0.3%, and was down 1.5% year-on-year.

— CNBC's Ryan Browne and Jeff Cox contributed to this market report.