European Stocks Mixed as Surging Single Currency Holds Down Gains

European stocks were mixed in early trading Tuesday as regional corporate earnings continued to impress and investors attempted to shrugg-off a rapidly rising euro and higher global oil prices.

The region-wide Stoxx Europe 600 index, the broadest measure of share prices, was marked 0.2% higher in the opening 30 minutes of trading as energy and commodity stocks lead gains for national benchmarks. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.33%, with oil major BP plc (BP) rising to near the top of the leaderboard after better-than-expected second quarter profits and dividend maintenance. 

Germany’s DAX performance index, however, slipped 0.1 in the opening half hour as the surging euro raised investor concern over slowing export growth. 

The euro leaped to a 2.5 year high of 1.1846 against the U.S. dollar in overnight trading before easing modestly in European dealing as the greenback’s slumped extended in the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to fire his communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, after only ten days in the White House. The dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six global currencies, traded at a 13-month low of 97.78 in Asia as investors trimmed bets on faster rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Asia stocks, however, were largely unaffected by the U.S investor concern, with the regional MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rising 0.43% into the start of European trading and the Nikkei 225 benchmark in Japan adding 0.3% to close at 19,985.79 points, even as the yen gained 0.2% against an unwanted dollar to trade at 110.01.

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