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H&M Leads Retail Sector Higher as European Stocks Edge Up

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 edged up 0.1%. The U.K. FTSE 100 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 rose 327 points, and the Nasdaq Composite 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 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 added 3%.

Ocado 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, which jumped 4.4%.

Faurecia shares slumped after Peugeot said it would delay the distribution of its shares in the auto supplier to Fiat Chrysler 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.

Source: Marketwatch

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