Europe Markets: H&M leads retail sector higher as European stocks edge up

Europe Markets: H&M leads retail sector higher as European stocks edge up


Pedestrians, some wearing a face mask or covering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, walk past a "Sale" sign in the window of a H&M store in London on August 12, 2020.


tolga akmen/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

European stocks edged higher in early trading Tuesday amid signs of an economic recovery across the globe, with the retail sector rallying on better-than-expected results.


The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, -0.04% edged up 0.1%. The U.K. FTSE 100 UKX, +0.20% led the major national indexes with a 0.5% gain, as the British pound remained under pressure as the U.K. government pushes through a law backtracking on last year’s European Union withdrawal agreement that it admits would violate international law.



U.S. stocks ended higher Monday, boosted by a wave of merger-and-acquisition activity and positive vaccine trial news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.18% rose 327 points, and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +1.87% snapped a two-session losing run.


In the world’s second-largest economy, China reported its first rise in retail sales since the pandemic. In the U.K., the unemployment rate edged higher in what one economist said was a labor market in a holding pattern while the country’s job-retention program runs through October.


H&M HM.B, +11.06% jumped 10% as the Swedish fashion retailer said its Aug. 31-ending quarter was stronger than expected, helped by well-received collections, more full-price sales and cost control. Rival Inditex ITX, +2.95% added 3%.


Ocado OCDO, +5.30% rose 3.5% after reporting a 52% revenue boost in the Aug. 31 ending quarter from its joint venture Ocado Retail, helped by a switch in venture partners from Waitrose to Marks & Spencer MKS, +4.72%, which jumped 4.4%.


Faurecia EO, -7.24% shares slumped after Peugeot UG, -2.68% said it would delay the distribution of its shares in the auto supplier to Fiat Chrysler FCA, +5.31% FCAU, +1.53% until after the merger has completed. The two automakers are amending their merger agreement, and Fiat Chrysler shareholders will receive a smaller dividend, as they increased their estimates of synergies.