European stock markets opened higher on Tuesday as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea showed signs of subsiding, prompting investors to return to riskier assets.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 started the day 0.32 higher percent with the majority of sectors and all major bourses in positive territory.
Basic resources and oil and gas were the sole laggards, while autos and food and beverages posted gains as trading kicked off. Autos climbed 0.6 percent higher, led by Fiat Chrysler which held onto gains seen Monday following reports that it has received at least one bid from a Chinese automaker.
Food retailer Sainsbury was up 0.75 percent after pressing pause on a proposed £130 million ($168 million) takeover of grocery wholesaler Nisa amid competition concerns.
Hargreaves Lansdown fell 1.3 percent despite reporting a 21 percent increase in pre-tax profits for the year ended in June. The fund supermarket made a pre-tax profit of 265.8 million pounds ($345 million), although dividend fell 15 percent t o 29 pence per share.
K+S was also down by almost 5 percent after reporting poorer than expected results and withdrawing its 2020 EBITDA outlook.
On the agenda Tuesday, the U.K. government is due to publish a white paper laying out plans for an interim customs agreement with the EU after Brexit to allow the freest movement of goods. It is also expected to seek the right to negotiate other trade deals during this transition phase – something which is not permitted during the negotiation period.
Markets in Austria, Italy, Greece and Poland are all closed Tuesday in celebration of Assumption Day.
North Korea reels back threats
The ongoing war of words between President Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump appeared to cool on Tuesday after the North Korean leader signaled that he would delay plans to fire a missile near Guam until it heard more from the U.S. administration. Asian markets moved higher on the news, while U.S. stocks posted their best day of the summer during Monday trade.
Nevertheless, other troubles continued to plague the White House as several key business figures departed Trump’s manufacturing council following his failure to initially condemn the violence of white supremacists in Charlottesville over the weekend. Three CEOs – Merck’s Kenneth Frazier, Intel’s Brian Krzanich and Under Armour’s Kevin Plank – have all stepped down.