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Europe ends higher but sterling gains weigh on U.K. stocks

November 29
23:06 2017

European stocks closed higher on average Wednesday after signs of progress with U.S. tax cuts and

Brexit

negotiations boosted sentiment.

The pan-European STOXX 600

(STOXX: .STOXX)

ended around 0.26 percent higher in trade, with most sectors in positive territory. The U.K.’s FTSE 100

(FTSE International: .FTSE)

closed lower by 0.9 percent, as sterling

(Exchange: GBP=)

rose against the U.S. dollar. Most other bourses, with the exception of the Swiss market, ended higher.

Retail stocks led the gains on Wednesday, up 1.74 percent for the day. Ocado

(London Stock Exchange: OCDO-GB)

was one of the top performers in the sector, adding to gains of

more than 20 percent

in the previous session. HSBC

(London Stock Exchange: HSBA-GB)

raised its target price for the stock, sending shares of the U.K. online grocer group more than 15 percent higher.

A basket of U.K. & European Bank stocks closed the day around 1.6 percent higher. This after the Fed Chair nominee Jerome Powell suggested a December interest rate hike looked likely.

Deutsche Bank

(XETRA: DBK-DE)

said plans to revamp its investment bank would take another two to three years. Germany’s largest lender has been seeking to steady the ship after a series of scandals and lawsuits last year. Its shares rose 2.4 percent.

In other stock news, Spain’s Aena

(Mercado Continuo: AENA-ES)

, meanwhile, rose more than 3 percent after Santander upgraded its rating on the stock to “buy”.

Britain and EU reportedly reach deal on a Brexit divorce bill

Back in Europe, Britain and the

European Union

(EU) were reported to have reached a deal on a Brexit divorce bill on Tuesday. British newspapers said the final total would be approximately 50 billion euros ($ 59.2 billion). A deal over the bill would indicate London and Brussels are edging closer to a new phase in their negotiations.

Meanwhile, market focus also turned to bitcoin after it surpassed $ 11,000 during European trade. The digital currency, which was valued at 6 cents seven years ago, has

soared more than 20 percent

since Friday.

Stateside, the prospects of a tax cut

appeared to improve

on Tuesday as Senate Republicans moved to set up a full vote as soon as Thursday. However, several details of the measure remain unsettled and Republican leaders have admitted they are yet to round up the votes needed for passage in the Senate.

In the United States markets opened with record highs for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. Earlier a revision of third-quarter U.S. GDP showed the economy expanded at an annualized rate of 3.3 percent.

Meanwhile, despite the improved economic growth in the euro zone, the

European Central Bank warned

Wednesday that there are concerns linked to a sudden increase in volatility.

European stocks closed higher on average Wednesday after signs of progress with U.S. tax cuts and

Brexit

negotiations boosted sentiment.

The pan-European STOXX 600

(STOXX: .STOXX)

ended around 0.26 percent higher in trade, with most sectors in positive territory. The U.K.’s FTSE 100

(FTSE International: .FTSE)

closed lower by 0.9 percent, as sterling

(Exchange: GBP=)

rose against the U.S. dollar. Most other bourses, with the exception of the Swiss market, ended higher.

Retail stocks led the gains on Wednesday, up 1.74 percent for the day. Ocado

(London Stock Exchange: OCDO-GB)

was one of the top performers in the sector, adding to gains of

more than 20 percent

in the previous session. HSBC

(London Stock Exchange: HSBA-GB)

raised its target price for the stock, sending shares of the U.K. online grocer group more than 15 percent higher.

A basket of U.K. & European Bank stocks closed the day around 1.6 percent higher. This after the Fed Chair nominee Jerome Powell suggested a December interest rate hike looked likely.

Deutsche Bank

(XETRA: DBK-DE)

said plans to revamp its investment bank would take another two to three years. Germany’s largest lender has been seeking to steady the ship after a series of scandals and lawsuits last year. Its shares rose 2.4 percent.

In other stock news, Spain’s Aena

(Mercado Continuo: AENA-ES)

, meanwhile, rose more than 3 percent after Santander upgraded its rating on the stock to “buy”.

Britain and EU reportedly reach deal on a Brexit divorce bill

Back in Europe, Britain and the

European Union

(EU) were reported to have reached a deal on a Brexit divorce bill on Tuesday. British newspapers said the final total would be approximately 50 billion euros ($ 59.2 billion). A deal over the bill would indicate London and Brussels are edging closer to a new phase in their negotiations.

Meanwhile, market focus also turned to bitcoin after it surpassed $ 11,000 during European trade. The digital currency, which was valued at 6 cents seven years ago, has

soared more than 20 percent

since Friday.

Stateside, the prospects of a tax cut

appeared to improve

on Tuesday as Senate Republicans moved to set up a full vote as soon as Thursday. However, several details of the measure remain unsettled and Republican leaders have admitted they are yet to round up the votes needed for passage in the Senate.

In the United States markets opened with record highs for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. Earlier a revision of third-quarter U.S. GDP showed the economy expanded at an annualized rate of 3.3 percent.

Meanwhile, despite the improved economic growth in the euro zone, the

European Central Bank warned

Wednesday that there are concerns linked to a sudden increase in volatility.

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