EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Log Fresh 20-month High Ahead Of Trump Tax Unveiling

By Carla Mozee and Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Credit Suisse plans to raise $4 billion in new capital

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European stocks ended a choppy session in positive territory on Wednesday, building on the previous days' rally as investors waited for U.S. President Donald Trump's tax-revamp plan.

The Stoxx Europe 600 added 0.5% to close at 388.73, ending at the highest level since August 2015.

Kering SA (KER.FR) topped the Stoxx 600, surging 9.7% after the owner of the Gucci and Saint Laurent luxury brands said first-quarter revenue surged 31% to 3.57 billion euros (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gucci-owner-kering-revenue-climbs-31-2017-04-25) ($4.07 billion).

Meanwhile, Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.EB) (CSGN.EB) shares tacked on 2.7%. The lender plans to raise 4 billion Swiss francs (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/credit-suisse-to-raise-4-bln-to-drop-swiss-ipo-2017-04-26) ($4.02 billion) in fresh capital and posted a first-quarter profit of 596 million Swiss francs that topped analyst expectations.

On a broader scale, investors are waiting to hear more about the Trump administration's tax reform and reduction package later Wednesday. His proposal is expected to include cutting the corporate tax rate to 15% from 35% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trumps-15-corporate-tax-rate-could-cost-the-government-2-trillion-2017-04-25).

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Equity markets worldwide since November have been bolstered by expectations for Trump-backed tax policies in the U.S., the world's largest economy. But there have also been doubts about implementation of his proposals after Republicans failed in a first bid to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

"The consensus sentiment is that any kind of tax reduction Trump introduces will free up corporate capital for re-investment and this should improve valuations even more, hence the fresh demand for stocks," said Konstantinos Anthis, analyst at ADS Securities, in a note.

"However, if Trump fails to at least provide the broad strokes of his plan, or fails to explain how he plans to pay for these tax deductions, the dollar runs the risk of pulling back again" and pulling gold prices lower, said Anthis.

Read:Here's how much a Trump tax-plan letdown could whack the stock market (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-how-much-a-trump-tax-plan-letdown-could-whack-the-stock-market-2017-04-26)

The euro bought $1.0867, down from $1.0928 late Tuesday in New York.

Earnings: Shares of Standard Chartered PLC (STAN.LN) jumped 4% after the bank said pretax first-quarter profit almost doubled (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/standard-chartered-earnings-rise-as-bad-loans-ease-2017-04-26).

Daimler AG (DAI.XE) sharply raised its outlook for the year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/daimler-lifts-earnings-outlook-as-profit-doubles-2017-04-26)as the maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury cars reported net profit doubled. Shares ended 0.2% higher.

Read:What to watch in Deutsche Bank earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-to-watch-in-deutsche-bank-earnings-2017-04-26)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-to-watch-in-deutsche-bank-earnings-2017-04-26)Also read:What to watch in AstraZeneca earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-to-watch-in-astrazeneca-earnings-2017-04-26)

Indexes: In Paris, the CAC 40 gained 0.2% to 5,287.88, ending at its highest level since January 2008. The French benchmark is now up 4.5% this week, as investors have welcomed the result (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/french-stock-futures-soar-after-macron-election-win-eases-frexit-fears-2017-04-24) of the first round of the country's presidential election held on Sunday.

Read:French election relief lays ground for ECB tapering -- but not yet (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/french-election-relief-could-pave-way-for-ecb-tapering-but-not-yet-2017-04-25)

Germany's DAX 30 climbed 0.1% to 12,472.80.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 0.2% to 7,288.72.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 26, 2017 12:08 ET (16:08 GMT)