European Stocks Set for Best Week Since March on Trade Deal

(Bloomberg) -- European equities gained on Friday and were poised for the best week in more than four months as a busy stretch of earnings comes to an end and as investors celebrated the cease-fire over trade between the region and the U.S.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index extended Friday’s advance to 0.3 percent, taking its five-day rise to 1.6 percent in the fourth straight week of gains. Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc surged after raising its full-year sales outlook, while Carrefour SA was set for its biggest rally since 1999 as second-quarter results signaled the new chief executive officer’s revamp was making progress.

This week marked the busiest period of the second-quarter earnings reporting season, with giants such as Royal Dutch Shell and Fiat Chrysler publishing results. Traders were encouraged by U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreeing to work toward a deal to remove trade barriers. Stocks extended gains on Friday after Trump predicted data due later Friday will show the U.S. economy is in “terrific” shape.

Mining stocks are the best performers this week as an easing of trade tensions assuaged fears global growth would take a hit. Banking shares are also up. The European Central Bank said Thursday it will stick to its plan to end bond purchases and pledged to keep interest rates unchanged “at least through the summer of 2019.”

European Stocks Set for Best Week Since March on Trade Deal

Eni SpA retreated 1 percent after its profit fell short of expectations, with the benefit of rising crude prices offset by weaker refining and chemicals businesses. BP Plc reversed earlier declines to eke out a small gain after agreeing to pay $10.5 billion for most of BHP Billiton Ltd’s onshore U.S. oil and natural gas assets.

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