European stocks open higher after upbeat H&M, STMicro results

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, September 28, 2020. REUTERS/Staff

(Reuters) – European stocks rose on Thursday as Swedish retailer H&M and French-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics jumped after reporting forecast-beating results, while hopes of more U.S. stimulus aided global sentiment.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX rose 0.7% by 0707 GMT, with bourses in Paris .FCHI and London .FTSE up over 1%, while German stocks .GDAXI rose 0.3%.

H&M HMb.ST rose 5.6% as it reported a third-quarter profit above analysts’ expectations and said sales continued to recover in September. The retail index .SXTP rose 1.3% to lead sectoral gains.

STMicroelectronics STM.PA jumped 3.5% after it forecast 2020 sales above previous estimate.

After European markets ended the third quarter in a subdued manner on worries about a resurgence in European COVID-19 cases, Brexit deal and the United States election, the mood brightened on Thursday amid signs of progress in a U.S. fiscal bill.

Final readings of September manufacturing activity for the euro zone and UK are due later in the day, with economists expecting recovery to remain intact after a coronavirus-induced hit.

German drugs company Bayer AG BAYGn.DE slumped 12% to the bottom of STOXX 600 after announcing plans for more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.76 billion) of cost cuts as of 2024 and revealing impairment charges on its agricultural business.

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