European Stocks Break Losing Streak
Frankfurt (Feb 25) European stocks shrugged off a slump in China to break a two-day losing streak. In London, the FTSE 100 was up 1.95% at 5,980.63 as the pound stabilized against the dollar following two days of heavy "Brexit"-fueled losses. £1.00 bought just over $1.39 as of late morning. In Frankfurt, the DAX was up 0.78% at 9,239.07, and in Paris, the CAC 40 jumped 1.59% to 4,221.21.
Brent crude oil was down 1.25% at $33.98 a barrel.
Eurozone indices gained despite updated January consumer price data showing a more subdued 0.3% inflation rate, lower than the 0.4% predicted earlier by the European Union's statistics arm. Still, the figure was up on December's 0.2% rate of price growth.
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Leading British telecom BT (BT - Get Report) was up about 2.5% in London after escaping a compulsory breakup following a review by telecom and media regulator Ofcom. Rival Vodafone (VOD) and Sky (SKYAY) , which had unsuccessfully lobbied for the enforced divestment of BT's Openreach infrastructure arm, were also up, however.
Bus and train operator National Express was up close to 10% after reporting above-forecast full-year results, including pretax profit of £150.1 million ($209 million), up 25.2% on 2014.
Rentokil Initial (RTOKY) , which provides pest control and other services, was up 2.5% after publishing full-year results which featured a 13.1% increase in the dividend. It reported good prospects in most of its markets, bar France and the Benelux region, for the coming year.
In Oslo, offshore rig operator Seadrill (SDRL - Get Report) was up more than 8% after it promised a plan to tackle its $9.9 billion of debt in the first half as it beat the consensus profit forecast in the fourth quarter.
In Frankfurt, pharmaceuticals and chemicals company Bayer (BAYRY) was down more than 4% after missing fourth-quarter expectations for core earnings per share and delivering disappointing guidance for 2016.