European stocks edge higher but oil and mining shares drag

Strong earnings season has fuelled a series of all-time highs

European shares inched higher on Thursday after a strong earnings season fuelled a series of all-time highs, while weakness in oil and metal prices hit commodity-related stocks.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.1 per cent as of 0824 GMT, with travel and leisure stocks in the lead. While gains in the recent days have been small, the benchmark index has risen 17 times over the last 19 sessions.

Oil stocks were among the biggest drags on the index, and were down 1.2 per cent after oil prices plunged on worries of a supply overhang and the prospect of China moving to release strategic fuel reserves.

Miners were down 0.8 per cent, with London copper prices falling to their lowest in more than a month, weighed down by rising inventories.

Submarines-to-steel group Thyssenkrupp jumped 3.6 per cent after saying its profit could more than double next year and it may take its hydrogen unit public.

Playtech rose 3.6 per cent after receiving a takeover bid from JKO Play Ltd, a firm co-owned by former F1 boss Eddie Jordan. JKO joins a series of takeover bids for the British online gambling software developer.

Shares of German auto supplier Continental fell 2.7 per cent after announcing the departure of its chief financial officer following a probe into the illegal use of defeat devices in diesel engines. – Reuters

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