European stocks rise on recovery hopes, as Spanish banks surge after BBVA deal – MarketWatch

A woman uses a smartphone in front of an ATM of the Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) in Madrid on September 4, 2020.


AFP via Getty Images

European stocks rose on Monday, helped by data showing the Asian economic recovery is accelerating even as the U.S. and Europe struggle to get to grips with COVID-19. Spanish banks surged after BBVA reached a pact to sell its U.S. division.

Up 5% last week after early data from U.S. drugmaker Pfizer
PFE
and German partner BioNTech’s
BNTX
coronavirus vaccine showed it was 90% effective, the Stoxx Europe 600
XX:SXXP
added 0.7%. The basic resource sector
XX:SXPP,
which is particularly sensitive to Asian economic growth, led the gains.

Spain’s IBEX 35
XX:IBEX
surged 1.8%. The French CAC 40
FR:PX1
rose 1.2%, and the German DAX
DX:DAX
and U.K. FTSE 100
UK:UKX
also gained.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
YM00
rose 259 points.

The recovery in the world’s number-two economy seems to be accelerating, with China’s industrial production jumping 6.9% in the 12 months to October and retail sales rising 4.3%. Japan’s third-quarter gross domestic product rose a stronger-than-forecast 5% in the third quarter. China and Japan also were among the signatories to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free-trade pact covering 15 key Asian countries apart from India.

U.S. hospitalizations for COVID-19 reached a record high on Sunday, according to data from the COVID-19 project, as various regional restrictions begin to kick in. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has suffered from COVID-19 before, is now self-isolating after meeting a member of parliament who contracted the virus, though he is not reported to be showing any symptoms. News that the Biden administration didn’t endorse a national lockdown proved supportive for stocks.

It is also a critical week for negotiations between the U.K. and European Union on a trade deal, as current terms expire at the end of the year.

BBVA
ES:BBVA

BBVA
soared 15% after agreeing to sell its U.S. operations to PNC Financial Services
PNC
for $11.6 billion. The news sent Banco Sabadell
ES:SAB
up 13%, as it helped to rekindle previous speculation BBVA could buy it. Banco Santander
ES:SAN

SAN
rose 5%.

Vodafone Group
UK:VOD

VOD
rose 3%, as the mobile-phone operator reported a 1.9% decline in its half-year adjusted earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization, on a 2.3% drop in revenue. Vodafone maintained its dividend and reiterated its free cash flow and Ebitda guidance.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield
NL:URW
shares jumped 14%, after replacing its chairman with a director who was critical of the commercial-real-estate company’s strategic plans. A capital-raising plan was rejected by shareholders last week.