Reuters

A projection of the composition of the next European Parliament is seen on a screen during of the final estimation of the results of the European Parliament election in Brussels, Belgium, May 27, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

European stock markets traded higher on Monday, driven in part by relief that euro skeptic parties did not advance as expected in EU Parliamentary elections, while autos were also gaining after Fiat Chrysler and Renault finally confirmed merger talks.

London and U.S. markets will close on Monday for public holidays, something that is likely to keep volumes pinned down in Europe.

How are markets performing?

The Stoxx 600

SXXP, +0.27%

 rose 0.2% to 376.78, after closing down 1.47% last week.

In Germany, the DAX

DAX, +0.99%

 rose 0.3% to 12,052.92, following a 1.9% gain last week.

France’s CAC 40

PX1, +0.36%

was up 0.2% to 5,326.14, after dropping 2.2% last week.

Italy’s FTSE MIB

I945, +0.65%

 climbed 0.7% to 20,520.01.

The euro

EURUSD, -0.1071%

 was flat at $1.1195 after finishing at $1.1208 on Friday. The pound

GBPUSD, -0.3692%

was flat at $1.2702, having ended Friday at $1.2711.

What’s moving the markets?

Elections for the European Parliament were held in the European Union’s 28 countries from Thursday through Sunda. Exit polls showed pro-EU parties won the majority, albeit with shrinking support, though euroskeptic parties did not walk away with as many victories as expected.

In short, center-right and left groups that have controlled European politics for years, saw their majority slip away, and will now need to form coalitions with business-friendly centrists. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for an early national elections after his party suffered heavy defeats in EU elections, news that sent Greece stocks

GD, +6.23%

 soaring nearly 5%.

A lack of trading in the U.S. and the U.K. was likely to keep action to a minimum.

U.S. stocks closed higher Friday ahead of the long weekend as trade-war fears receded somewhat following reports President Donald Trump may ease restrictions against Huawei Technologies Inc. as part of a bigger trade deal with China. But the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a fifth-straight week, logging its longest weekly losing streak on record.

What stocks are moving?

Auto stocks were among the big gainers, with Renault

RNO, +14.49%

 soaring 14% after Fiat Chrysler

FCAU, +0.94%

FCA, +10.70%

 unveiled a merger proposal with the French group that would create the world’s third-largest car maker by production. Fiat shares rose 10%.

The news boosted auto shares across the board, with Daimler AG

DAI, +0.47%

 rose 0.5% and Volkswagen AG

VOW, +1.00%

 jumped 1.3%.

Elsewhere, pharmaceutical shares were also higher, with heavyweight Novartis AG

NOVN, +1.81%

climbing 1.8% and Sanofi SA

SAN, +0.31%

SNY, +0.40%

 up over 1%.

Major oil companies also contributed to the positive tone, with Total SA

FP, +0.90%

TOT, +0.81%

 climbed 1.3% and Royal Dutch Shell PLC

RDSA, +0.51%

RDS.B, +1.15%

 rose 0.8%. 

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2019-05-27