LONDON — European stock markets were on the upswing in midmorning trading on Thursday, buoyed by a rise in oil prices and cautious words from the U.S. Federal Reserve on quantitative easing.
The CAC 40 in Paris led the way, climbing 1.9 percent to 4,161.21, followed by the FTSE 100 in London, 1.5 percent to 6,562.83, and the DAX in Frankfurt, 1.2 percent to 9,492.37. The FTSE MIB in Milan rose 0.8 percent to 15,546.98.
The euro traded at $1.11, while the pound fetched $1.29 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.02 at 11:10 a.m. CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were also on the rise, with the morning’s biggest risers including Primark’s parent Associated British Foods, 9 percent to 27.83 pounds, after it announced that year-end profits would be higher due to a weaker pound.
Other risers included SuperGroup, parent of Superdry, 2.4 percent to 12.95 pounds; Yoox Net-a-porter Group, 4.9 percent to 21.76 euros, after the company announced bullish growth prospects in the five years to 2020; Ted Baker, 3.4 percent to 22.12 pounds; Brunello Cucinelli, 2.4 percent to 15.57 euros; Koovs.com, 4.7 percent to 0.55 pounds, and Burberry Group, 2.7 percent to 11.73 pounds.
Among the few stocks that lost ground were Marks & Spencer Group, 1.8 percent to 2.89 pounds after the company released a downbeat first-quarter trading statement on Thursday.
Clothing and home sales plummeted 8.3 percent in the 13 weeks to July 2 while food sales climbed 4 percent. Group sales were up 1.3 percent, and broadly flat at constant currency.
The store’s new chief executive officer Steve Rowe said a key part of the store’s recovery plan for the clothing and home division is lowering prices and reducing promotions. The summer sale began two weeks later than last year. “We knew our actions would reduce total sales, but we are seeing some encouraging early signs,” he said.
Rowe added that consumer confidence in May weakened in the run up to the EU referendum, and it is too early to quantify the implications of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
Other shares in retreat included Salvatore Ferragamo, 1.4 percent to 17.50 euros; and Joules, 0.9 percent to 1.69 pounds.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Federal Reserve said it wanted to wait for more U.S. data and more clarity around the implications of Brexit before raising interest rates.