European stocks extended gains Monday amid a global equity rally that carried the U.S. stocks into triple-digit gains after the Federal Bureau of Investigation effectively closed its criminal probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while Secretary of State.
Europe's broadest equity benchmark, the Stoxx 600 index, added 1.5%, or 4.92 points, and was quoted at 333.70 points at the closing bell. Britain's FTSE 100 led by bank, energy and basic materials stocks, gained around 1.4% as the session drew to a close. Gains on the benchmark were also supported by a decline in the pound, which fell more than 1% against the U.S. dollar in European trading.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.7%, up more than 300 points, by the end of the European session, while the S&P 500 added 1.9% and the Nasdaq jumped 2.3%. Stocks had previously fallen for nine straight sessions with the S&P 500 suffering through its longest losing streak in more than 35 years.
The latest reading of a compilation of polls at the RealClearPolitics website has Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton extending her lead against Republican rival Donald Trump to 2.6 points. However, key battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, remain too close to call and suggest either candidate will face significant hurdles in reaching the minimum 270 electoral votes needed to secure the White House.
HSBC (HSBC) was one of the session's biggest movers, with shares in Europe's biggest bank rising as much as 5% after the lender revealed a modest rise in adjusted third quarter profit supported by a significant increase in its capital base. HSBC shares closed at 620 pence, up 4.36% on the day and extending the year-to-date advance past 20%.
European banks shares rose in concert, helping bourses in Germany and France to advance more than 1.5% on the day, as investors re-calibrated bets for Tuesday's U.S. Presidential elections.
In Germany, Deutsche Bank DB rose to the top of the DAX performance index with a 4.8% advance, while in Paris, BNP Paribas (BNPQY) , France's biggest bank, added 3.7% and led gainers on the CAC 40.
The sharp increase in risk appetite hit safe-haven assets such as European government bonds, pushing yields higher as investors cashed out of last week's rally. Benchmark 10-year German bund yields rose by around 3 basis points to 0.15%, while 10-year U.K. Gilt yields added 6 basis points to 1.19%.
Bond investors will also be closely watching developments at this month's meeting of Euro zone finance ministers and central bankers in Brussels. Speculation that the monthly gathering, known colloquially as the Eurogroup, could provisionally agree debt relief measures for Greece - and that the ECB could subsequently include its bonds into its quantitative easing program - sent yields on its 2-year government bonds to a record low 4.767%.
The extra yield, or spread, that investors demand to hold 10-year Greek government bonds instead of triple-A rated German bunds fell 42.3 basis points to 7.3%, according to Tradeweb data.
A second dimension to the move was the aforementioned fall in the pound, which accelerated its declines in the first session after recording its best week against the greenback since the global financial crisis after British lawmaker David Davis, who is responsible for the country's Brexit plans, told Parliament that the government was determined to trigger its exit from the European Union, as scheduled, at the end of March 2017.