LONDON — European stock markets made strong gains on Friday after Britain’s European Union referendum campaigners temporarily suspended their rallies in the wake of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.
Cox, who was campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU, was killed on Thursday by a mentally ill man, although the motive remains unclear. Both referendum camps immediately stopped work to pay tribute to the 41-year-old mother of two.
The uncertainty surrounding the Brexit referendum has been rattling markets for months and sending the pound plummeting against the dollar. Britons will go to the polls on June 23 to decide whether they want to leave or stay in the EU.
The FTSE MIB led the Friday morning rally, climbing 2.5 percent to 16,754.20, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, 1.3 percent to 4,207.24, and the DAX in Frankfurt, 1.2 percent to 9,668.44. The FTSE 100 in London was up 1.2 percent to 6,018.72.
The euro traded at $1.12, while the pound fetched $1.42, and the Swiss franc equaled $1.04 at 11:05 am CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the morning’s biggest gainers including Koovs.com, 6.2 percent to 0.58 pounds; Ted Baker, 3.7 percent to 26.32 pounds; Aeffe, 2 percent to 1.12 euros; Moncler, 3.4 percent to 14.81 euros; and Tod’s, 2.7 percent to 52.85 euros.
Among the morning’s biggest fallers was Mulberry Group, which was down 2.9 percent to 10.07 pounds despite returning to profit in fiscal 2015-16; market newcomer Joules, 1.1 percent to 1.86 pounds; and French Connection, 1.4 percent to 0.38 pounds.