European stocks extended gains Tuesday, rallying in lockstep with their U.S. and Asian counterparts after Alcoa Inc.'s better-than-expected results kicked off the earnings season on a positive note.
Adding to the optimism, euro-zone finance ministers, last night, agreed to dole out the scheduled third-quarter bailout tranche of 6.8 billion euros to Greece in staggered payments. The country will get the first payment of 2.5 billion euros after July 19 on condition that it fully implements austerity measures that include deeper spending cuts and public sector lay-offs.
Stocks on the Move
Mining stocks led the field after U.S. aluminum giant Alcoa Inc.'s latest results topped Street estimates.
BHP Billiton Plc. rose 2.8% and Rio Tinto Plc. gained 2.6%, while Anglo American Plc. bounced 3.3% after thousands of its mineworkers returned to work today after staging a strike at two of its mines in South Africa since Sunday.
Among financials, French lender BNP Paribas SA added 0.6% while Societe Generale SA climbed around a percent.
Deutsche Bank AG rallied 1.7% while Commerzbank bounced more than 4% in Germany.
London-listed Lloyds Banking Group Plc. improved 1.6% while Barclays Plc. was up around 2%.
In individual stocks, Electricite de France SA soared nearly 10% after the French government authorised the state-controlled power utility to raise its electricity price for residential consumers by 5% in 2013 and 2014.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals climbed 2% following a ratings upgrade even as other pharma stocks traded modestly higher in London. AstraZeneca Plc. was up 0.9% and GlaxoSmithKline Plc. rose 0.8%.