European stocks rose on Thursday on hopes of a large U.S. stimulus plan under new President Joe Biden, while investors looked to the European Central Bank for clues on the eurozone’s economic health.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.4%, hitting new highs since February, with tech, travel & leisure and automakers gaining the most.
Asian and Wall Street peers hit record highs after Biden took office on Wednesday and signed half a dozen executive orders that included America’s return to the international Paris Agreement to fight climate change.
“In the past few days, the market has been breathing a sigh of relief that we had a safe transfer of power from Trump to Biden,” said Dhaval Joshi, strategist at BCA Research.
Euro zone stocks climbed 0.3% ahead of the ECB meeting where policymakers are widely expected to keep its easy money policy unchanged, but hold the door open to further stimulus as the fast-spreading second wave of COVID-19 dims an already weak outlook.
The central bank will announce its own policy decisions at 1245 GMT, followed by President Christine Lagarde’s news conference at 1330 GMT.
Tech stocks jumped 1.5%, continuing their rally for a second straight session, led by software maker Sage Group which jumped 4.7% after posting higher quarterly recurring revenue.
Spanish cellphone mast operator Cellnex rose 4.1% and German telecoms group Deutsche Telekom gained 0.8% after the two companies announced to combine their tower business in the Netherlands.
The pair boosted European telecom sector, which climbed more than 1%.
Electrolux slipped 0.5% even as the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) reported appliance shipments rising by a fifth in the four quarter due to pandemic-driven “stay at home” demand.
Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty