Europe stocks hit 1-year high after Dow hits 20,000

Big 5

European stock markets edged higher Thursday morning extending the bullish sentiment that took the Dow Jones industrial average to an all-time high.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.4 percent higher with most sectors trading positive. The index hit its highest level since December 2015 on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Banking and health care stocks were the best performers as investors remained confident that President Donald Trump will carry on implementing his campaign pledges, including cutting taxes and proceeding with de-regulation.

Shares of the Swiss firm Actelion were at the top of the European benchmark, up by more than 20 percent. This is after Johnson and Johnson announced it is buying the company for $30 billion.

The Daily Mail was on the other end of the benchmark, down by 7 percent in early trade after its owner cut the revenue outlook for its information division.

Ericsson up 6.5%

Meanwhile, market participants are focused on corporate earnings reports. Shares of the Swedish communications firm Ericsson were up by 6.5 percent in early trade. The company cut its 2016 dividend but revenue managed to beat analyst expectations.

Diageo and Nordea shares moved higher on Thursday morning too after showing better-than expected profits.

However, Unilever moved in the opposite direction. Its shares were down by 4 percent in early trade after the firm said that “difficult” market conditions are set to continue.

Sky reported operating profit that was down by 9 percent. However, the firm is reportedly in negotiations with Discovery Communications for a new carriage deal, Reuters reported. Its shares were marginally higher.

Also, on Thursday’s calendar is the release of the latest gross domestic product numbers for the U.K. economy. The British government said it will publish legislation this Thursday on divorce talks with the European Union.

Source: CNBC

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