EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Set For Best Month Of 2017
By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch
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European stocks advanced on Friday, staying on track for their best month of the year after a string of upbeat data and a rally for the banking sector on rising expectations for tighter monetary policy.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.2% to 387.25, setting it on track for its highest close in three months.
For September, the pan-European index was on course for a 3.6% rise, its biggest monthly advance since December last year. For the third quarter, which also wraps up after Friday's trade, the index was up 2.1%, rebounding from a 0.5% loss in the second quarter.
"The overall recovery in the euro area is going from strength to strength at a time when people are increasingly optimistic about the global economy. Companies [earnings] also had a good second quarter and people seem optimistic about the third and beyond," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda.
He cautioned, however, there are still a number of things that could go wrong, including the U.K.-EU Brexit negotiations and a fragile recovery in southern Europe.
"But we finally appear to be at a point when the tailwinds are more encouraging that the headwinds are concerning and this could continue to support stocks even as the ECB withdraws it's support, which in itself is an act of confidence in the outlook," Erlam added.