EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Climb, With French Market Boosted In Wake Of Parliamentary Elections

06/19/17 12:11 PM EDT

By Carla Mozee and Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch

Brexit talks starting in Brussels

Stocks across Europe leapt Monday, with French shares rising by the most in more than a month after French President Emmanuel Macron's upstart party scored a majority in parliamentary elections on Sunday.

The Stoxx Europe 600 climbed 0.9% to close at 391.94, scoring its biggest one-day percentage gain since April 24, according to FactSet data.

Among top gainers, Royal Philips NV (PHG) surged 6.5% after The Times reported that hedge fund Third Point, led by manager Dan Loeb, has been buying shares in the Dutch electronics and health care heavyweight (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/activist-fund-set-to-shake-up-philips-m2sjp7bkm). The move spurred speculation Loeb is aiming to shake up the business.

Ocado Group PLC (OCDO.LN) was also among the best performers, rising 11% as the British online grocery company is considered a takeover target following Amazon.com Inc.'s (AMZN) deal announced Friday to buy Whole Foods Market Inc (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-to-buy-whole-foods-for-137-billion-2017-06-16-91035726).(WFM).

   The euro   was buying $1.1162, down from $1.1198 late Friday in New York. 

France: In Paris, the CAC 40 index tacked on 0.9% to 5,310.72, its biggest rise since May 5, FactSet data showed. The move came after Macron's La République en Marche party and its centrist ally won 350 of the 577 seats in the National Assembly (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/macrons-party-on-track-for-dominant-win-in-french-parliament-2017-06-18) in the final round of voting on Sunday.

"We expect [Macron] to begin with the least popular reforms in the next 100 days to show Europe that France is back," wrote ING economist Julien Manceaux in a research note. "This should continue to support business confidence and help GDP growth to accelerate in the second half of the year to reach 1.7% in 2018 after a still weak (1.3%) 2017."

"However, with a record low voter turnout, the mandate for reform is not extremely strong for Mr. Macron who could hence endure strong civil opposition, especially to his labor and pension reforms," Manceaux added.

Read:This is what elite fund managers are watching closely -- and it's not Trump or Brexit (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-what-elite-fund-managers-are-watching-closely-and-its-not-trump-or-brexit-2017-06-19)

Indexes: Germany's DAX 30 popped up 1.1% to 12,888.95, logging a fresh record.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 claimed a 0.8% rise to 7,523.81 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-rises-with-retailers-in-recovery-mode-2017-06-19). British officials are in Brussels to begin talks over Britain's exit from the European Union, or Brexit, nearly a year after the U.K. voted to leave the EU in a referendum.

No Brexit deal for the U.K. would be a "very, very bad outcome," U.K. Treasury chief Philip Hammond told the BBC on Sunday. Britain will exit the European Union's single market, but an agreement for a smooth transition would be ideal, he said.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 19, 2017 12:11 ET (16:11 GMT)

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