Start­ing week on front foot


EURO­PEAN stocks started the week on the front foot as cat­a­lysts in­clud­ing a re­bound in crude pro­pelled equities to­ward the big­gest gain in five days. The pound erased a gain as Theresa May pre­pared to spell out how EU cit­i­zens liv­ing in the UK will be pro­tected in Brexit. The Stoxx Europe 600 In­dex ral­lied led by food and bev­er­age shares and Nestlé af­ter hedge fund Third Point con­firmed it has amassed a $3.5 billion (R45.12bn) stake in the re­gion’s big­gest com­pany. Ital­ian equities also drove the gauge as the coun­try stepped in to clean up two failed banks, while en­ergy stocks climbed as oil rose for a third day. Ster­ling de­clined as bat­tle lines ap­peared to harden just a week into Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions. For equities it’s a bullish start. The agenda for cen­tral-bank watch­ers is jam-packed, with speeches due from Janet Yellen, Mario Draghi, Mark Car­ney, Haruhiko Kuroda and more. Eco­nomic data may also drive mo­men­tum in fi­nan­cial mar­kets, with key re­ports due on in­fla­tion, employment, man­u­fac­tur­ing and hous­ing from China to the US. – Bloomberg

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