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European markets rise to 6-week highs; Portugal wins back investment grade status; EDF up 3.5% – CNBC

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European markets were slightly higher on Monday afternoon, as global investors returned to perceived riskier assets amid cooling geopolitical tensions.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up by around 0.33 percent during lunchtime deals, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

European shares rose to six-week highs on Monday, led higher by gains in the industrials sector and banking index.

Portugal’s stocks outperformed after the euro zone country returned to an investment grade rating after more than five years. Standard & Poor’s became the first of the so-called big three credit rating agencies to upgrade Portugal to investment grade status on Friday. The country’s PSI 20 index rose over 1.5 percent, on track for its biggest one-day gain since mid-July.

Looking at individual stocks, EDF surged to the top of the benchmark on Monday morning, after Goldman Sachs raised its stock recommendation to “buy” from “neutral”. Shares of the French utility firm were more than 2 percent higher on the news.

Ryanair fell towards the bottom of the European index after the airline announced plans to cancel between 40 and 50 flights per day until the end of October, disrupting hundreds of thousands of planned journeys. The continent’s largest airline, in terms of passenger numbers, was around 2.2 percent lower.

Federal Reserve eyed

After a dip in risk appetite towards the end of last week, Asian shares bounced back to hit decade highs on Monday, with South Korea’s benchmark leading the gains, brushing aside concerns of escalating tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

While the weekend passed with no new provocation from North Korea, the isolated regime’s nuclear weapons program is likely to take center stage once again on Tuesday, when President Donald Trump addresses world leaders at the United Nations.

Meantime, the main event for markets this week is likely to be the Federal Reserve‘s monetary policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. The U.S. central bank is seen as likely to take another step towards normalization. In recent months, Canada has raised interest rates twice while Britain’s central bank shocked many on Thursday when it signaled its own coming increases.

Elsewhere, some details of Trump’s tax plans are expected to emerge over the coming days while citizens of New Zealand and Germany both head to the polls to vote in national elections this week.

Not a Scientific Survey. Results may not total 100% due to rounding.

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European markets rise to 6-week highs; Portugal wins back investment grade status; EDF up 3.5% – CNBC

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