European Markets Struggle To Extend Winning Streak

The European markets were stuck in a narrow range throughout Thursday’s session, but managed to log slight increases. The markets extended their winning streak to six straight days. Bank stocks were among the top gainers of the session on expectations for interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. Retailers were also in focus, following the disappointing results reported by H&M.

The Bank of Spain warned on Thursday that the political tensions surrounding the referendum being held for Catalonia’s independence could hurt economic activity.

Catalonia is set to hold the referendum on October 1.

“Regarding the risks to the growth forecasts, political tensions in Catalonia could possibly affect confidence, spending decisions and financing conditions,” the bank said in its quarterly report.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.13 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks increased 0.23 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, lost 0.03 percent.

The DAX of Germany climbed 0.37 percent and the CAC 40 of France rose 0.22 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. gained 0.13 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0.15 percent.

In Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank advanced 2.39 percent.

In London, Barclays climbed 0.97 percent and Standard Chartered added 1.03 percent.

Ryanair lost 4.32 percent as the airline faces legal action for “persistently misleading” passengers about their rights following the wave of flight cancellations because of a shortage of pilots.

Imperial Brands fell 4.11 percent after reports that it is in talks to help save struggling wholesaler Palmer & Harvey Holdings.

TUI dropped 0.24 percent after the travel company said trading since its last update has remained in line with the Group’s expectations.

Hennes & Mauritz sank 5.08 percent in Stockholm after the retailer posted weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings.

Eurozone economic confidence strengthened in September, survey data from the European Commission showed Thursday. The economic sentiment index rose to 113.0 in September from 111.9 in August. The reading was also above the expected 112.

German consumer confidence is set to weaken in October, survey data from the market research group GfK showed Thursday. The forward-looking consumer sentiment index fell unexpectedly to 10.8 from 10.9 in September. The score was forecast to rise to 11.0.

Germany’s inflation remained unchanged at its highest level in four months in…

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