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Europe: Stocks advance with health-care companies leading gains

European shares rose on Wednesday after reaching 2015 lows as a bruising quarter ended, with a Chinese tax cut boosting automakers while miner Glencore rallied after saying it had no solvency issues.

[FRANKFURT] European shares snapped a two-day selloff, with health-care companies leading gains.

Novartis AG pushed drugmakers higher, rising 1.4 per cent after saying it formed a partnership with California biotechnology company Amgen Inc. to develop new drugs for Alzheimer's disease and migraines.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.7 per cent to 355.23 at 8:14 am in London. Shares slid on Tuesday in a broad-based rout that saw 577 of the equity benchmark's members falling.

Investors sold off after a report showed China's official factory gauge dropped to a three-year low, while separate data signaled manufacturing in the euro area shrank more than initially forecast and output in the US expanded at the slowest pace since 2013.

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Among other stocks moving today on corporate news, Cie. de Saint-Gobain SA gained 1.2 per cent after a Swiss court ruled that the French building-materials company's purchase of a minority stake with majority voting rights in Sika AG does not oblige it to make an offer for the remaining shares of the adhesives maker.

Alstom SA advanced 3.2 per cent as people familiar with the matter said that General Electric Co is poised to win European regulators' approval for its purchase of the French company's energy business in the coming days.