U.S. Markets

European shares end at five-week high as relief bounce continues

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares rose to a five-week high on Tuesday, extending the relief bounce seen in the previous session as worries about Hurricane Irma and North Korea’s nuclear standoff eased.

General view of the Frankfurt stock exchange, Germany, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

All major trading centers and most sectors ended in positive territory as the pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX gained 0.55 percent, although some investors questioned how sustainable current markets levels are.

“Whether that equity reaction is Panglossian complacency or a sign of wonderful underlying fundamentals remains open to question,” ING wrote, adding that “even Category 5 storms can now be added to the list of things that ‘Don’t Really Matter’”.

Financial stocks were yet again among the top performers, with banks .SX7P and financial services .SXFP up 1.6 and 1.1 percent respectively.

Insurance firms .SXIP, which fueled Europe's rise on Monday with a roughly 2 percent jump, were again in positive territory, edging up 0.8 percent.

“The structure of today’s open is typically ‘risk-on’,” said Pierre Martin, a senior sales trader at Saxo Bank, noting that the positive trend for banking stocks or automobile shares showed investors’ moods were off geopolitical and climate worries and back to more positive corporate and macroeconomic news.

Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE rose 1.9 percent after announcing a 20 billion euro plan to develop zero-emission vehicles and other constructors were also gaining ground, such as Peugeot PEUP.PA which topped France's blue chip CAC 40 .FCHI index with a 3.8 percent rise.

Novartis NOVN.S gained 1.3 percent as it reported that its biosimilar rituximab to treat blood cancers and immunological diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis was accepted for review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Among losers, French veterinarian pharmaceutical company Virbac VIRB.PA sank 16.3 percent after cutting its full-year outlook.

British home builders were also under pressure with Taylor Wimpey TW.L losing 1.4 percent and Barrat Development BDEV.L 1.7 percent after a report highlighted risks to the sector, a trader said.

Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Alison Williams