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EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Climb, With French Market Higher After Parliamentary Elections

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06/19/2017 | 11:30am CEST

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch

Brexit talks starting in Brussels

Stocks across Europe leapt Monday, with French shares rising by the most in more than a month after French President Emmanuel Macron's upstart party scored a majority in parliamentary elections on Sunday.

The Stoxx Europe 600 climbed 0.8% to 391.51. All sectors gained ground, led by industrial, oil and gas and basic materials stocks.

Among top gainers, Royal Philips NV (>> Koninklijke Philips NV) surged 5.8% after The Times reported that hedge fund Third Point, led by manager Dan Loeb, has been buying shares in the Dutch electronics and healthcare heavyweight (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/activist-fund-set-to-shake-up-philips-m2sjp7bkm). The move spurred speculation Loeb is aiming to shake up the business.

Ocado Group PLC (>> Ocado Group PLC) was also among the best performers, rising 7% as the British online grocery company is considered a takeover target following Amazon.com Inc. (>> Amazon.com) deal announced Friday to buy Whole Foods Market Inc .(>> Whole Foods Market, Inc.).

   The euro   was buying $1.1198, steady from Friday's trade in New York. 

France: In Paris, the CAC 40 index tacked on 1% to 5,316.01, on track for its biggest rise since May 5, FactSet data showed. The move came after Macron's La République en Marche party and its centrist ally won 350 of the 577 seats in the National Assembly in the final round of voting on Sunday.

"We expect [Macron] to begin with the least popular reforms in the next 100 days to show Europe that France is back," wrote ING economist Julien Manceaux in a research note. "This should continue to support business confidence and help GDP growth to accelerate in the second half of the year to reach 1.7% in 2018 after a still weak (1.3%) 2017."

"However, with a record low voter turnout, the mandate for reform is not extremely strong for Mr. Macron who could hence endure strong civil opposition, especially to his labor and pension reforms," Manceaux added.

Only two shares on the CAC 40 were moving lower. Media firm Vivendi SA (>> Vivendi) shed 0.2% and oil services provider TechnipFMC PLC (>> TechnipFMC) fell 0.4%. At the top of the index were shares of industrial engineering equipment company Schneider Electric SE (>> Schneider Electric SE) as they rose 2.1%.

Indexes: Germany's DAX 30 popped up 1% to 12,876.22, on track for a record close. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 claimed a 0.6% rise to 7,511.52. British officials are in Brussels to begin over Britain's exit from the European Union, or Brexit, nearly a year after the U.K. voted to leave the EU in a referendum.

No Brexit deal for the U.K. would be a "very, very bad outcome," U.K. Treasury chief Philip Hammond said on BBC1's "The Andrew Marr Show" show on Sunday. Britain will exit the European Union's single market, but an agreement for a smooth transition would be ideal, he said.

Financial markets were stable following initial reports of a "major incident" in London involving a van being driven into a crowd of people, resulting in one death and several casualties.

Among decliners on the Stoxx 600, shares of Mediaset Espana Comunicacion SA (>> Mediaset Espana Comunicacion) fell 3.3% and Polymetal International PLC (>> Polymetal International) lost 2.5%.

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