European equity markets held gains Thursday after stocks in Japan had their strongest rally in nine-months following the decisive victory for Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues in Tuesday's Presidential elections.
Britain's FTSE 100 index added 20 points, or 0.2%, by 12:45 GMT, extending Wednesday's gains following the shock results and surprisingly diplomatic victory speech from President-Elect Trump. Benchmarks in Germany and France were also stronger by mid-day in Europe, rising 1% and 0.75% respectively.
Japan's Nikkei 225 surged 6.7% to 17,334, its biggest gain in at least nine months and more than reversing Wednesday's 5.4% decline, as investors piled back in to risk assets following a strong rally on Wall Street in the wake of Trump's decisive victory and Republican control of Congress.
Bonds continued to react to the election results, as traders sold U.S. Treasuries amid the global stock rally, pushing yields on benchmark 10-year debt to 2.08%.
European government bonds were also under pressure, pushing triple-A German bunds 9 basis points higher to 0.30% as European sovereign debt markets sold into the broader equity rally. Italy's benchmark 10-year debt was one of the session's biggest movers, with yields rising 14 basis points to 1.89%, a 16-month high.
Aegon NV (AEG) , the Dutch insurance group, was one of the day's biggest movers as shares rose more than 12% to a five-month high of €4.65 each. The U.S.-focused group said Q3 earnings suffered from higher life insurance claims and reported a 7% decline in underlying profit.
However, as with many other European stocks, investors bet that new insurance sector accounting rule changes may be shelved under the President-Elect's new administration.
In London, one of the session's early gainers was Antofagasta (ANFGY) whose shares rose more than 12% to the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard in concert with a surge in LME copper prices.
The London-listed Chilean miner cautioned only two weeks ago that its copper production would be at the lower end of guidance this year, and that next year's would fall. However, global copper prices rose sharply in London, rising to a 16-month high, as traders bet on steep infrastructure spending gains from a Trump Presidency.
AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) shares slipped lower Thursday after the company said sales of its blockbuster Crestor drug declined sharply in the face of generic competition.
Britain's second-biggest drugsmaker reported earnings per share of $0.80, up 32% from the same period last year and ahead of analysts' forecasts of $0.74 per share. But sales of Crestor, its key cholesterol blockbuster drug, fell 44% from the same quarter last year to $688 million, the company said, while sales of Symbicort dropped 17% to $697 million.
AstraZeneca shares fell 2.8% in London, against a broader FTSE 100 gain, to trade at 4,5445 pence each at 11:00 GMT Thursday. The stock has fallen 11.8% over the past three months, outpacing an 8.2% decline for the FTSE 350 Healthcare Index.
The pound is holding onto gains against the U.S. dollar, despite a huge surge for the greenback against a basket of global currencies Wednesday amid a massive rally in U.S. stocks.
Sterling was quoted at 1.2394 in London trading, little-changed from Wednesday close while the dollar index was up 0.3% at 98.74.