European shares advanced in thin trading as calm returned to markets after a two-day decline threatened a rebound that has trimmed this year’s losses by more than half.
A measure of auto-related stocks climbed for a second day, posting the best performance of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, as the weaker euro benefits export- oriented companies. Credit Suisse Group AG led lenders higher, rising 3.2% after saying it will eliminate an additional 2 000 jobs this year and deepen cuts at the investment bank. A measure of travel-related companies slipped.
The Stoxx 600 rose 0.4% to 341.71 at 10:13. The volume of shares changing hands was 27% lower than the 30-day average. The equity gauge yesterday recovered most losses incurred after bomb blasts at Brussels airport and a central subway station killed at least 31 people and injured more than 230. Belgian security forces have raided homes in Brussels as they hunt the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks.
The Stoxx 600 hasn’t posted back-to-back gains in more than a week, a sign that the rally that pushed it to a two-month high may be running out of steam. Before that, the gauge rebounded as much as 14% since a February 11 low, helped by optimism over central-bank policies.
Germany’s DAX Index rose 0.5% as Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble prepares to outline his 2017 budget. A draft of the announcement showed plans to boost the nation’s defense and infrastructure spending as part of a proposed 2.7% increase in government outlays.
Among stocks moving on corporate news, Kingfisher advanced 1% after Europe’s largest home-improvement retailer reported profit that beat estimates amid growth in the UK and Poland. Ingenico Group SA rose 2.7% after predicting profitability will increase over the next four years. William Hill slumped 13% after saying earnings from its online business will be weaker than expected.