EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Build On Rally Ahead Of German Ifo Report

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatchFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Euro rises above $1.18

European stocks continued higher on Tuesday, a day after closing at an almost six-week high, as investors looked ahead to German sentiment data that could help steer the market action for the rest of the session.

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What are markets doing: The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.2% to 393.37, building on Monday's rally (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-rally-on-us-tax-reform-optimism-with-banks-in-charge-2017-12-18) when the European benchmark scored its highest close since Nov. 8. The 1.2% jump also marked its biggest one-day percentage gain since July.

Germany's DAX 30 index climbed 0.2% to 13,337.03, while France's CAC 40 index slipped 0.1% to 5,417.96.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index added 0.2% to 7,554.91.

The euro rose to $1.1806 from $1.1782 late Monday in New York.

What's driving the market: The optimism this week comes on signs the highly anticipated tax reform in the U.S. will get the final signoff this week. Fears that the Republicans would struggle to pass their major tax reform bill eased on Friday after 11th hour concessions made to the final version managed to appease the holdouts. Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Marco Rubio of Florida both pledged their support for the bill, sparking optimism the final vote could come before Christmas.

In Europe on Tuesday, traders were waiting for the German Ifo business climate index, which is seen as leading indicator for economic activity in Europe's largest economy. The data are due at 9 a.m. London time, or 4 a.m. Eastern Time.

What strategists are saying: "We could see the Ifo report ticking marginally higher and this would be beneficial to the euro that may try to edge above $1.18 today," said Konstantinos Anthis, researcher ADS Securities in a note.

"Having said that, traders are keeping in mind that any gains could be short-lived due to factors not related to the shared currency. The dollar might be in play as well as analysts are expecting the tax reform bill to be brought to a vote sometime during the U.S. session," he added.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 19, 2017 03:34 ET (08:34 GMT)