EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Set To Snap Losing Streak As Miners Jump

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

ZEW survey on German economic sentiment in focus

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European stocks pushed higher Tuesday, with advances in the basic resources sector poised to lead the market out of a three-session run of declines.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index bulked up by 0.6% to 374.82. All sectors rose, led by the basic materials and health care groups. The pan-European benchmark fell 0.4% on Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fiat-maersk-shares-shine-in-lackluster-european-stock-market-2017-08-21), in part on concerns about another flare-up in tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

But investors on Tuesday appeared to set aside those concerns and concentrate on corporate financial updates. Among these were updates from mining heavyweights BHP Billiton PLC and Antofagasta PLC.

BHP shares (BLT.LN) (BHP.AU) (BHP.AU) moved up 3.3% after the miner said it's planning to sell its onshore U.S. oil and gas operations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bhp-billiton-looks-to-sell-us-shale-operations-2017-08-21). The decision followed a push by activist investor Elliott Management in favor of the move.

BHP also said its final dividend will rise threefold. The miner swung to a yearly net profit of $5.86 billion, but that was weaker than anticipated.

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Antofagasta shares (ANTO.LN) jumped 4.1%. The copper miner more than tripled its interim dividend payment (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/antofagasta-profit-surges-to-triple-dividend-2017-08-22) after reporting a sharp rise in half-year earnings.

The share-price moves helped guide the Stoxx Europe 600 Basic Resources Index higher by 1.6%, on course for its best session in nearly a week.

Economic data: Investors will watch for the ZEW survey on German economic sentiment for August, due at 10 a.m. London time, or 5 a.m. Eastern Time. Analysts polled by FactSet expected softer readings for both the current situation and sentiment portions of the survey.

The euro bought $1.1772, down from $1.1817 late Monday in New York.

"If the ZEW does come in higher than expected, the next level to watch is the 1.1840, and this would be an interesting development, as it would further highlight expectations for Mario Draghi to talk down the currency during the Jackson Hole meeting at the end of the week," said ADS Securities researcher Konstantinos Anthis in a note.

Top central bankers, including Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, will gather at the annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., that starts Thursday.

Stock movers: Provident Financial (PFG.LN) tumbled 64% after the U.K.-based lender said it expects to lose between 80 million pounds and GBP120 million in the third quarter. The profit warning (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/provident-warns-on-profit-again-ceo-to-leave-2017-08-22), the second in three months, comes after Provident shifted to using full-time "customer experience managers" rather than self-employed agents in its home credit business.

National indexes: France's CAC 40 index rose 0.6% to 5,104.31, and Germany's DAX 30 index moved up 0.6% to 12,137.29.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index gained 0.6% to 7,364.56.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 22, 2017 04:50 ET (08:50 GMT)