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Europe Stocks Close Higher as U.S. Debt Ceiling Talks Progress; BT Down 5%; DAX Hits 17-Month High

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This is CNBC's live blog covering European markets.

European markets closed higher Thursday as U.S. debt ceiling talks made progress and several sectors made strong gains.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed up 0.43% provisionally, with autos rising 2.5% and tech stocks up 2.5%.

Germany's DAX ended the session 1.37% higher as firms including Commerzbank and Volkswagen climbed, taking it to its highest level since January 2022, according to Reuters data.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 managed to gain 0.25% despite shares of British telecoms giant BT falling 5%, trimming earlier losses, after announcing plans to cut between 40,000 and 55,000 of its workforce between 2028 and 2030.

British luxury retailer Burberry also shed 5% after it beat sales estimates but reported weak demand in the U.S. and among younger shoppers.

Wall Street sentiment was positive Thursday morning, while Asia-Pacific markets rose overnight on hopes that U.S President Joe Biden and congressional leaders were inching closer to a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and avoid a default.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that a "better process" is now in place for further talks, saying it's "possible to get a deal by the end of the week." Biden shortened his trip to Asia to focus on the negotiations, the White House said.

Dow, S&P 500 open down

The Dow and S&P 500 both opened in the red Thursday.

The Dow was down 0.2%, while the S&P 500 was slightly below flat. The Nasdaq Composite, on the other hand, was up 0.2%.

— Alex Harring

There’s a ‘big differentiation’ between the U.S. and UK markets, says property economist

Kiran Raichura of Capital Economics discusses the outlook for commercial real estate.

Banks are ‘museums of technology,’ says fintech company

Antony Jenkins, CEO of 10X Banking, says banks were "very much revenue-driven, so they never really thought about technology" before the 2008 financial crisis.

Stocks making losses: Hexatronic down 10%, BT drops 9%

Hexatronic extended Wednesday's losses, with shares dropping 10% at the start of trading. The Swedish fiber optic infrastructure company fell to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 index after it announced a share savings program.

BT shares fell 9% after the telecom company reported profit had dropped 12% for the full year. Revenue came to £20.7 billion ($26 billion), down 1% from the previous year.

The company also announced it would cut up to 55,000 jobs by 2030 as it completes its fiber network rollout and embraces artificial intelligence across its brand.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

UBS says earnings expectations are too high for the ‘growth backdrop’

Caroline Simmons, U.K. chief investment officer at UBS, discusses the outlook for earnings and what to expect from U.S. debt ceiling negotiations.

Deutsche Bank agrees to pay $75 million to Jeffrey Epstein victims; shares down 0.6%

Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $75 million to Jeffrey Epstein's victims to settle a federal lawsuit accusing the bank of facilitating and benefiting from Epstein's sex trafficking of young women.

Epstein had been a customer of Deutsche Bank from 2013 to 2018.

Shares of Deutsche Bank were down 0.6% at the start of the trading session.

— Hannah Ward-Glenton

CNBC Pro: Nvidia's stock could rise fivefold in 10 years on A.I. trend, says fund manager

Nvidia, the company behind the most powerful chips used to enable artificial intelligence (A.I.), has the potential to increase its stock value by five times within the next ten years, according to investor and fund manager Philip Ripman.

Investor enthusiasm for Nvidia is centered around its business model of selling high-performance graphics processing units (GPUs) essential for running the complex algorithms behind artificial intelligence technologies. As A.I. has become increasingly important across industries, demand for GPUs has surged.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more Ripman's views on Nvidia here.

— Ganesh Rao

CNBC Pro: Analysts say these 11 top-performing stocks are set to soar even more — giving one over 85% upside

The year is nearing its halfway mark, and global stocks have been doing much better than they had in volatile 2022.

Many stocks have soared and beaten the overall market, but there's still more room for investor bullishness.

CNBC Pro screened for stocks that are beating the market nearly halfway into the year — and that analysts love. One's a Buffett favorite, and another two are top picks by BofA and Citi.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Weizhen Tan

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European markets are expected to open higher Thursday.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 38 points higher at 7,744, Germany's DAX 83 points higher at 16,023, France's CAC 35 points higher at 7,432 and Italy's FTSE MIB 136 points higher at 27,084, according to data from IG.

Earnings are set to come from EasyJet, Burberry, BT, National Grid and Premier Foods. There are no major data releases.

— Holly Ellyatt

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