The pan-European Stoxx 600 rose 0.15 percent with the majority of sectors and major bourses moving higher. Basic resources led the gains, up by 0.8 percent. BHP Billiton was up by 2 percent after a ratings upgrade. Travel and leisure stocks were up by almost half a percent on earnings.
Looking at the European benchmark, Ferrari led the gains and its share price hit a record high, after a number of ratings upgrades for the automaker. The stock was up more than 7 percent.
Iit was a tough morning for French banks, after reporting their latest figures. Societe Generale sank to the bottom of the European benchmark, down by more than 6.5 percent. Net banking income stood at 6.294 billion euros for its first quarter of 2018 — a drop of 2.5 percent from a year ago. This was due to a weaker performance in its domestic retail activity, as well as lower revenues in its global banking and investor solutions division.
BNP Paribas was off by 2.2 percent. It reported a 17 percent fall in net income during the first quarter of the year, highlighting “lackluster” trading activity in Europe.
In other corporate releases, HSBC announced a $2 billion share buyback, but its costs rose in the first quarter of the year. As a result, the shares were off by almost 3 percent. BMW dropped more than 1.7 percent after posting a lower revenue in the first quarter of 2018.
Meanwhile, U.S. authorities accused former Volkswagen chief Martin Winterkorn of conspiring to cover up the German automaker’s diesel emissions cheating, Reuters reported. In the U.K., BT is set to announce thousands of job cuts next week, according to the Financial Times. And in Italy, Telecom Italia shareholders are due to hold a meeting to vote on the appointment of the board of directors.