European stocks head for weekly win
European stocks rose Friday, as Bayer AG shares gained on news the German conglomerate has reached a multibillion-euro deal to sell parts of its business, putting the DAX on track for another record close.
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Mining stocks advanced after upbeat import data from major metals consumer China.
What stocks are doing: The Stoxx Europe 600 index added 0.3% to 391.55, led by the basic materials, oil and gas and telecom sectors. But health care and financial shares were losing the most.
On Thursday, the pan-European benchmark closed fractionally higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/spanish-stocks-pull-back-after-rally-as-other-european-markets-struggle-for-direction-2017-10-12) and was on track Friday to rise 0.5% for the week.
Miners boosted: The Stoxx 600 Basic Resources Index leapt 1.5% on Friday as shares of mining companies marched higher. The moves came after a report showed Chinese imports rose 18.7%, beating forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/china-exports-up-9-for-7th-month-of-growth-2017-10-13), as exports also grew. China is a major buyer of industrial and precious metals.
Shares of ArcelorMittal SA (MT) jumped 2.7%, Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) added 1.3%, and Glencore PLC (GLEN.LN) bulked up 0.8%.
"Seasonal factors helped to boost year-on-year trade growth last month. But there are also hints of a real pick-up in domestic demand, perhaps due to efforts to shore up activity ahead of the Party Congress," said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics, in a note.
Communist Party officials will meet in Beijing on Oct. 18 for the high-profile, week-long 19th Party Congress, where they will reveal plans for the economy.
Stock movers: Bayer AG (BAYN.XE) was up 1.2% after BASF SE (BAS.XE) said it has reached an agreement to buy significant parts of Bayer's seed and herbicide businesses (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/basf-to-buy-significant-parts-of-bayer-businesses-2017-10-13) for 5.9 billion euros ($6.99 billion). BASF shares slipped 0.6%.
GKN PLC shares (GKN.LN) dropped 6.9%. The engineering group said Friday its third-quarter margin performance was lower than a year ago (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gkn-margins-squeezed-by-north-america-challenges-2017-10-13), mainly because of operational challenges in its North American aerospace division.
Provident Financial PLC (PFG.LN) rallied 16% after the lender said its Vanquis Bank division delivered good growth (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/provident-scraps-2017-dividend-on-doorstep-issues-2017-10-13) in the third quarter and was upbeat on prospects for its Satsuma online loans unit. Provident, which is battling problems in its doorstep-loans unit, confirmed it won't pay a full-year dividend for 2017.
In the currency market, the euro traded at $1.1844, up from $1.1832 late Thursday in New York.
Subdued regional benchmarks: Germany's DAX 30 index was up 2 points at 12,985.25, after closing at a record high on Thursday. France's CAC 40 index slipped 2 points to 5,358.34.
In London, the FTSE 100 index fell 0.3% to 7,531.78, under pressure as the pound climbed above $1.33 for the first time in nearly two weeks. Sterling rose after German newspaper Handelsblatt late Thursday (http://www.handelsblatt.com/my/politik/international/brexit-galgenfrist-fuer-london/20446710.html) reported that the European Union may offer a two-year Brexit transition deal to Britain.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 13, 2017 05:21 ET (09:21 GMT)