Europe close: Stocks extend gains on thin trading volumes
European shares extended their recent gains on Thursday as a closely followed business survey in Germany gave cause for optimism that the looming recession may be shorter than feared.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.46% at 440.84, alongside a 0.78% rise for the German Dax to 14,539.56 and a 0.61% gain on the FTSE Mib to 24,730.89.
Nevertheless, trading volumes were thin due to the US Thanksgiving holiday.
German business sentiment improved in November, according to a survey released on Thursday by the Ifo Institute.
The business climate index rose to 86.3 from 84.5 in October, coming in above consensus expectations for a reading of 85.0. Meanwhile, the expectations index increased to 80.0 in November from 75.9 the month before, while the current situation index printed at 93.1 versus 94.2.
The manufacturing gauge improved to -11.7 in November from -15.4 the month before, while the services sector index rose to -5.4 from -8.5. The index for trade came in at -26.9 compared to -31.9 and the construction gauge was -21.6 in November versus -24.0 in October.
"While companies were somewhat less satisfied with their current business, pessimism regarding the coming months reduced sharply," said Ifo president Clemens Fuest. "The recession could prove less severe than many had expected."
In equity news, shares famous UK bootmaker Dr Martens took a kicking as interim profits slipped and the company said it would raise prices to offset inflation, even as it hiked the dividend by almost a third.
UK and French home improvement retailer Kingfisher slipped as the company held annual financial guidance.
Remy Cointreau drifted lower despite reporting a stronger-than-expected 27.2% organic jump in first-half operating profit, driven by strong demand for its premium cognac in China and the US and cost controls.
Intertek shares jumped as the testing, certification and inspection company posted a jump in revenue on Thursday as it hailed robust demand for its ATIC Solutions business and a recovery in China.