- Chemical stocks hit record high
- Value-stocks banks, miners in favour again
- Focus on slate of Fed speakers this week
- Irish stocks surge as DUP names new head
June 22 (Reuters) - European shares settled higher on Tuesday as mining and energy stocks benefited from stable commodity prices, while investors hunkered down ahead of a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell.
The pan-European STOXX 600 (.STOXX) closed 0.3% higher after flitting between gains through the session, with mining stocks (.SXPP) rising 1.3% as base metal prices appeared to have stabilized from a recent plunge.
Chemical stocks (.SX4P) rose 1.1% to a record high, as investors favoured sectors most likely to benefit from an economic recovery this year.
Irish stocks (.ISEQ) were the best performers in the region, surging 1.6% after Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party named Jeffrey Donaldson as its new leader - its third leader in a matter of weeks amid crucial post-Brexit talks. read more
Irish stocks had tumbled last week after Donaldson's predecessor, Edwin Poots, resigned after just three weeks on the job. read more
The focus this week will be on a slew of Fed speakers, beginning with Chair Jerome Powell, who is due to speak before the U.S. Congress on Tuesday at 1800 GMT. read more
"If Powell is among the members believing that monetary policy normalisation should start in the months to come, equities and other risk-linked assets are likely to pull back again," said Charalambos Pissouros, senior market analyst at JFD Group.
After logging its worst week in four months on Friday, the pan-European STOXX 600 was helped by encouraging comments from European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde on economic growth. read more
Europe's volatility index (.V2TX) was down at 17.77 after spiking to a one-month high of 22.99 on Monday.
Among individual movers, Irish building insulation maker Kingspan Group (KSP.I) topped the STOXX 600 after it forecast strong sales for the first half of 2021.
French healthcare group Sanofi (SASY.PA) fell 0.6% even as it said the company and its U.S. partner Translate Bio (TBIO.O) had started a Phase I clinical trial evaluating an mRNA-based investigational vaccine against seasonal influenza.
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