European shares closed fractionally higher on Tuesday, with the U.K.’s FTSE 100 among the best performers, as investors reacted to fresh data from China and volatility in currency markets.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended 0.11 percent higher most major bourses in positive territory. The FTSE 100 hit a new record high to extend its winning streak with help from a falling currency and a strong rally for mining firms. Basic resources stocks were the best performing sector across Europe, jumping more than 3.2 percent, on strong data from China. Chinese producer prices jumped 5.5 percent in December from the previous year.
Commodities companies Anglo American and Rio Tinto lead the gains in the European index with the former going up by more than 7.1 percent.
Auto stocks also ended higher after the German carmaker Volkswagen said that solid growth in sales in China and eastern Europe helped the firm offset losses from the emission scandal in major markets.
Meanwhile in the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average recovered earlier losses and reignited hopes among investors that the blue-chips index could go above and beyond the 20,000 threshold.
Banking stocks pared most of its earlier losses to close down 0.1 percent as two new concerns emerged in the Italian banking system. Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca, which were rescued last year, are to propose a deal with disgruntled shareholders that could cost the banks more than 600 million euros ($634 million). According to Reuters, the two banks are seen as the next big issue in the Italian banking system.
Meanwhile, the U.K.’s supermarket group WM Morrison increased its profit guidance on Tuesday following its strongest Christmas sales in seven years, Reuters reported. The chain was among the best performers on European benchmarks, closing over 3.6 percent higher. Tesco ended up by more than 5.9 percent after recording the fastest growing sales among the four largest suppliers over the Christmas quarter.
The French cosmetics firm L’Oreal announced Tuesday that it was buying three skincare brands from Valeant for $1.3 billion, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, oil prices had retreated again by the European close to compound Monday’s losses. Investors remain concerned that record crude exports from Iraq will affect the implementation of the OPEC deal to cut production.
Brent crude was trading at around $54.43 a barrel by the European close, down 0.96 percent. While, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude traded at $51.53, down 0.89 percent.