European stocks edged higher on Tuesday, on the cusp of their longest monthly win streak since 2013 amid a brightening outlook for risk assets on the policy and pandemic fronts.
The Stoxx 600 Index was up 0.1% at 8:17 a.m. London time, with gains led by miners, technology stocks and autos. The FTSE 100 Index was little changed following a U.K. holiday on Monday.
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While risks such as China’s regulatory crackdown and the early withdrawal of stimulus have haunted markets recently, Friday’s speech from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reassured investors that the central bank was in no rush to raise rates.
Coupled with Europe’s vaccination push to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the backdrop for equities is looking rosier heading into September. The region’s equity benchmark is set to post a gain of about 2.4% for August, during which it hit a series of record highs.
“On the pandemic side, things are looking quite positive,” Hani Redha, a portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments, said by phone. “That’s going to start to really give confidence that these reopenings, which have been on and off and uneven, are slowly but steadily going to be going ahead.”
Among the most notable individual stock moves, U.K. wholesaler Bunzl Plc declined 2.9% following half-year results and an unchanged outlook, while biotechnology firm Galapagos NV rose 2.6% after announcing the planned retirement of its CEO.