European stocks rise on recovery hopes, as Spanish banks surge after BBVA deal – MarketWatch

A woman uses a smartphone in front of an ATM of the Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) in Madrid on September 4, 2020.


AFP via Getty Images

European stocks rose on Monday, helped by data showing the Asian economic recovery is accelerating even as the U.S. and Europe struggle to get to grips with COVID-19. Spanish banks surged after BBVA reached a pact to sell its U.S. division.

Up 5% last week after early data from U.S. drugmaker Pfizer
PFE,
+2.85%

and German partner BioNTech’s
BNTX,
+4.30%

coronavirus vaccine showed it was 90% effective, the Stoxx Europe 600
SXXP,
+0.64%

added 0.7%. The basic resource sector
SXPP,
+1.70%
,
which is particularly sensitive to Asian economic growth, led the gains.

Spain’s IBEX 35
IBEX,
+1.87%

surged 1.8%. The French CAC 40
PX1,
+1.14%

rose 1.2%, and the German DAX
DAX,
+0.53%

and U.K. FTSE 100
UKX,
+0.73%

also gained.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
YM00,
+0.98%

rose 259 points.

The recovery in the world’s number-two economy seems to be accelerating, with China’s industrial production jumping 6.9% in the 12 months to October and retail sales rising 4.3%. Japan’s third-quarter gross domestic product rose a stronger-than-forecast 5% in the third quarter. China and Japan also were among the signatories to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free-trade pact covering 15 key Asian countries apart from India.

U.S. hospitalizations for COVID-19 reached a record high on Sunday, according to data from the COVID-19 project, as various regional restrictions begin to kick in. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has suffered from COVID-19 before, is now self-isolating after meeting a member of parliament who contracted the virus, though he is not reported to be showing any symptoms. News that the Biden administration didn’t endorse a national lockdown proved supportive for stocks.

It is also a critical week for negotiations between the U.K. and European Union on a trade deal, as current terms expire at the end of the year.

BBVA
BBVA,
+15.94%

BBVA,
+4.76%

soared 15% after agreeing to sell its U.S. operations to PNC Financial Services
PNC,
+1.47%

for $11.6 billion. The news sent Banco Sabadell
SAB,
+15.84%

up 13%, as it helped to rekindle previous speculation BBVA could buy it. Banco Santander
SAN,
+3.01%

SAN,
+4.70%

rose 5%.

Vodafone Group
VOD,
+2.91%

VOD,
+4.06%

rose 3%, as the mobile-phone operator reported a 1.9% decline in its half-year adjusted earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization, on a 2.3% drop in revenue. Vodafone maintained its dividend and reiterated its free cash flow and Ebitda guidance.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield
URW,
+12.62%

shares jumped 14%, after replacing its chairman with a director who was critical of the commercial-real-estate company’s strategic plans. A capital-raising plan was rejected by shareholders last week.