European markets were higher Thursday morning after U.S. stocks saw their best performance in almost a decade on Wednesday.
The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 index rose 0.4 percent, with markets in the region reopening after the Christmas holidays. France’s CAC 40 led the gains, climbing 1 percent, after a sharp sell-off earlier in the week.
Germany’s DAX and the Italian FTSE MIB bucked the trend by pushing lower, but those markets missed out on heavy losses seen Monday when both were shut. The Stoxx 600 is still in correction territory and was around 17 percent off its most recent 52-week high as markets opened Thursday. The DAX is in bear market territory, around 22 percent off its most recent 52-week high.
A dramatic surge in U.S. stocks provided some relief to global markets overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining more than 1,000 points in Wednesday’s trading session. It came after a report from Mastercard said holiday sales had grown at their highest rate in six years, calming concerns about the U.S. economy. In Europe, retail stocks led the gains and were higher by around 1.2 percent in early morning trade.
“Just when everyone had counted the market down, the market bounded back,” John Carey, a portfolio manager at Amundi Pioneer, told CNBC on Thursday. He described the Wednesday bounce on Wall Street as “very positive” and also “quite surprising.”
Asian markets enjoyed a rally on Thursday on the back of Wall Street’s success, with the Nikkei pulling out of bear market territory and surging 3.8 percent.
Back in Europe, France’s Vinci Airports announced it will buy a majority stake in London Gatwick for $3.7 billion, sending Vinci stocks 1 percent higher in early deals. Meanwhile, the Moscow Stock Exchange has said it will likely delay buying a stake in the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange until 2019.
Thursday will also see the U.S. Senate convene and possibly vote on a bill to end the partial government shutdown, which began on December 22 following a dispute between the White House and Democrats over the funding of a southern border wall.