European stocks surge higher on U.S. debt ceiling optimism; BT Group slumps

  • Stock Market News
European stocks surge higher on U.S. debt ceiling optimism; BT Group slumps
Credit: © Reuters. - European stock markets traded higher Thursday, with investors optimistic of a deal to lift the U.S. debt ceiling while awaiting comments from ECB chief Christine Lagarde.

At 04:10 ET (08:10 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 1.6% higher, while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. climbed 0.6% and the CAC 40 in France rose 1%.

Investors have been buoyed by the apparent determination of President Joe Biden and top U.S. congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy to reach an agreement soon, with Biden cutting short an Asia trip to return to talks on Sunday.

"It is possible to get a deal by the end of the week," McCarthy told reporters on Wednesday. "It's not that difficult to get to an agreement."

The drama has been unfolding for weeks, since the government officially hit the ceiling of $31.4 trillion in January, with the Treasury warning that it could run out of cash by early June, potentially triggering a disastrous, first-ever default.

Back in Europe, the region’s data cupboard is largely bare today, and instead a lot of the day’s focus will be on a speech by ECB President Christine Lagarde .

The European Central Bank raised interest rates earlier this month, continuing its prolonged monetary tightening campaign against inflation, and investors will be looking for clues of future action.

In the corporate sector, BT Group (LON: BT ) stock slumped 8% after the telecoms giant announced plans to cut between 40,000 and 55,000 jobs by the end of the decade as part of plans to slash costs.

Burberry (LON: BRBY ) stock fell 6.6% with investors taking profits even after the luxury fashion brand reported an increase in full-year revenue and sales as China rebounds. The stock has gained 16% so far this year.

Deutsche Bank (ETR: DBKGn ) stock rose 0.7% after the German lender agreed to pay $75 million to settle a lawsuit by women who say they were abused by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, and accused the bank of facilitating his sex trafficking.

Oil prices retreated Thursday, handing back some of the previous session’s solid gains as markets awaited more news on the potential lifting of the U.S. debt ceiling.

Crude prices rallied over 3% on Wednesday on optimism that a deal on raising the U.S. debt limit could shortly be reached, adding to the news of a drop in U.S. gasoline inventories due to demand surging to the highest levels since 2021.

By 04:10 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.5% lower at $72.47 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 0.5% to $76.60. 

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.4% to $1,975.35/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% lower at 1.0814.

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