EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Rise On Wave Of Earnings, With GDP In Focus

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Euro holds above $1.18

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Stocks in Europe gained ground Tuesday, as the start of trading in August saw oil major BP PLC climb after its earnings report, while investors looked toward the first reading of second-quarter economic growth for the eurozone.

The Stoxx Europe 600 tacked on 0.4% at 379.33. All sectors rose, led by industrial stocks and oil and gas shares. The pan-European index on Monday slipped 0.1% to close at its lowest since April.

Energy boost: The oil and gas sector leapt a collective 1.4% as BP shares (BP.LN)(BP.LN) gained 3.2%. The oil producer swung to a profit of $553 million in the second quarter (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bp-swings-to-profit-on-higher-crude-prices-2017-08-01), demonstrating its ability to generate cash again. Oil and gas production at the energy major rose 9.9%.

Crude oil prices , meanwhile, were modestly higher, extending a rally (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-hovers-above-52-a-barrel-as-investors-grow-confident-of-tightening-market-2017-08-01) driven by growing optimism that the oversupply in the global oil market is now easing.

GDP in focus: The first reading of second-quarter gross domestic product in the eurozone is scheduled for release at 10 a.m. London time, or 5 a.m. Eastern Time. Growth is projected at 0.6% quarter-over-quarter, according to a FactSet estimate.

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The euro rose ahead of the data release, buying $1.1822, to hold above the $1.18 level it crossed above late Monday for the first time since January 2015.

A stronger euro can make products from European exporters for expensive for their overseas clients to purchase. Each 10% on the euro takes 6 percentage points off per-share earnings growth, Credit Suisse said in a research note last week.

Stock movers: Advancers included Royal DSM NV (DSM.AE) , as its shares bulked up 5.6%. The Dutch chemicals and pharmaceuticals company said it's on track to surpass its targets for the year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/royal-dsm-profit-up-21-lifts-2017-targets-2017-08-01) as it reported a 21% rise in second-quarter net profit.

Individual indexes: France's CAC 40 index rose 0.5% to 5,118.73 and Germany's DAX 30 gained 0.4% to 12,166.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 surged 0.8% to 7,428 and Spain's IBEX 35 was pulled up 0.8% to 10,589.

See:July's best-performing assets--in charts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/julys-best-performing-assetsin-charts-2017-07-31)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/julys-best-performing-assetsin-charts-2017-07-31)Also:The S&P 500 and DAX are parting ways and that could set stocks up for a tumble (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-sp-500-and-dax-are-parting-ways-and-that-could-be-bad-for-wall-street-2017-07-31)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 01, 2017 05:00 ET (09:00 GMT)