European benchmarks were mixed going into the close Thursday after London received a boost from the latet Bank of England policy statement while performances were more temperatmental elsewhere in Europe given a mixed volley of corporate earnings reports released in the early hours.
The FTSE 100 gained 0.82%, to 7,471, in London while the midmarket FTSE 250 added 0.30%, to be quoted at 19,902. Both indices were boosted by a BoE report that showed the number of rate setters voting for a hike declining by one at the recent meeting, with only two policy makers now in favor of tightening.
In Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.40%, to be quoted at 5,132, while the DAX index shed 0.20%, to 12,155. Over in Southern Europe, benchmarks were broadly higher with the IBEX in Madrid and the FTSE MIB in Milan both adding more than 0.50%.
Of note, and in individual stocks, Next (NXGPY) , Randgold (GOLD) and London Stock Exchange (LDNXF) were among the biggest gainers in London while shares of drugmaker, Shire (SHP) , possibly came close to being the most volatile.
Next returned to sales growth during the second quarter and hiked its dividend, signalling confidence that the long-running slowdown seen by the British middle-of-the-road clothing retailer is at an end. The stock was up nearly 10% an hour out from the close.
Randgold saw its top line expand by some 22% during the recent period and sounded a bullish tone on future exploration, while London Stock Exchange hiked its dividend following a solid quarter. Shares of the pair were up 4.6% and 2.9% respectively.
Shire surged in London on Thursday, Aug. 3, after it posted a solid earnings beat for the second quarter and said it is ahead of schedule to meet its target for synergies following the acquisition of Baxalta.
It also said it could launch an IPO of its neuroscience unit, which houses ADHD treatments Adderall and Vyvanse, helping to drive a 5% gain in the shares. However, the stock was lower ahead of the close as analysts continued to digest the full results statement and comments made on quarterly earnings call.
In Italy, UniCredit (UNCFF) surged more than 5% after it beat expectations across a host of metrics for the second quarter, including on nonperforming loan sales and regulatory capital generation, suggesting that its turnaround plan unveiled in December is beginning to bear fruit. Big fallers for the session were David Campari Milano (DVDCY) and Tenaris (TS) .
In Frankfurt, industrial giant Siemens (SIEGY) and automotive parts maker Continental (CTTAY) were among the biggest fallers. Siemens saw a fall in third-quarter sales and pushed the date it plans to IPO its healthcare unit back into 2018. Continental shares fell Thursday after the first-half performance of its ContiTech division and stagnating margins in its automotive business left investors disappointed.