European Markets Climb On Euro Weakness

The European markets ended Wednesday’s session in positive territory. Investors were encouraged by some activity on the M&A front, as Alstom and Siemens agreed to merge their rail operations.

The markets also benefited from a weakening in the Euro against the U.S. dollar following yesterday’s hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

“We should be wary of moving too gradually,” Yellen said in a speech to the National Association for Business Economics meeting in Cleveland.

“Given that monetary policy affects economic activity and inflation with a substantial lag, it would be imprudent to keep monetary policy on hold until inflation is back to 2%,” she said.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.42 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks increased 0.53 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.46 percent
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The DAX of Germany climbed 0.41 percent and the CAC 40 of France rose 0.25 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. gained 0.38 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished lower by 0.17 percent.

In Frankfurt, Munich Re increased 1.19 percent on reports that it is close to selling some of its primary life insurance units.

In Paris, Alstom jumped 4.25 percent after signing a memorandum of understanding with Siemens to merge their rail operations in a deal that would create a new European champion. Siemens AG gained 1.20 percent in Frankfurt.

In London, mining stocks were among the best performers due to rising copper prices. Anglo American increased 1.24 percent, Rio Tinto gained 0.22 percent and Antofagasta added 1.32 percent.

Banco Sabadell climbed 6.80 percent and Caixabank rallied 4.39 percent in Madrid after recent steep losses on concerns over the Catalan referendum.

Power utility Fortum Corp rose 0.91 percent in Helsinki. The company said it would launch an 8.05 billion euros takeover offer for Uniper in an all-cash deal.

Electrolux dropped 3.96 percent in Stockholm after Goldman Sachs downgraded its rating on the stock to “Neutral” from “Buy.”

Eurozone monetary aggregate grew at a faster pace in August, data from the European Central Bank showed Wednesday. The broad monetary aggregate M3 climbed 5 percent year-on-year in August, faster than the 4.5 percent increase seen in July. This was also faster than the expected 4.6 percent.

France’s consumer sentiment weakened unexpectedly in September, survey data from the statistical office Insee showed Wednesday. The…

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