London: European shares closed slightly higher Thursday, 23 August, marking their fifth winning session in a row with retailers among the biggest gainers, though markets fell back from highs after a mixed opening on Wall Street.
The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 index rose 0.2% to 369.33. The retail sector gained around 1% after recent weakness.
Shares of Tesco rose 2.7% in London, with Germany’s Metro adding 1.6% in Frankfurt.
Oil stocks were also in positive territory after crude oil prices rose. BP shares climbed 0.4%.
In national indexes, the German DAX 30 index closed up 0.2% at 7,511.96 and the French CAC-40 index added 0.1% to 5,523.33. The UK FTSE 100 index closed up 0.01% at 6,196.90.
US stocks struggled to hold gains in early trading, although Bank of America Corp.’s $2 billion vote of confidence in troubled Countrywide Financial Corp offset worries about the survival of the country’s biggest mortgage lender.
Echoing markets elsewhere European gains over the last few sessions were helped by central bank policy outlook, with strength in Asian markets also helping to provide an early lift for European shares Thursday.
Japanese shares led Asian markets higher Thursday as Japan’s c entral bank kept interest rates on hold, as expected. Japanese policy makers opted for more time to assess the economy and the impact upon domestic prices in the wake of the recent turmoil on global equity and credit markets.
US stocks have also rallied in recent sessions after the Federal Reserve stepped in to calm the money markets last week by cutting its discount rate.