LONDON -- European equity markets are seeing their third consecutive day of gains today, making for the largest three-day rally since the beginning of the year. Weaker-than-expected U.S. factory orders data yesterday has dampened gains somewhat, and news from London that Barclays CEO Bob Diamond will resign is grabbing the headlines even in the continent this morning, as banking shares once again become a center of focus amid the LIBOR scandal.
European major financials are largely shrugging off concerns of further trouble, despite the U.K.'s Financial Services Authority saying in its annual public meeting today that many banks may be found to be involved in similar activities to Barclays. The potential for further -- and perhaps even worse -- revelations has been keeping the sector fairly volatile.
The German DAX
In European financials, it is Dutch firm Delta Lloyd (NASDAQOTH: DLLLY.PK) that is leading gains today, up more than 4.8% after it said the solvency of its IGD Group will increase at least 15 percentage points this year, while the solvency of its Delta Lloyd Levensverzekering business will increase at least 30 percentage points.
Elsewhere, carmaker Peugeot (NASDAQOTH: PEUGY.PK) is outperforming in Paris, up 3.5% after it announced it will be cutting 10,000 of its French workforce -- more than has previously been expected -- because of sliding sales. This comes as part of a wider cost-saving effort by the company, which announced just last week it will need to raise its 2012 savings target of 1 billion euros.
With some mixed trading in the commodity markets, oil and energy stocks are in turn seeing mixed trade across Europe today, although France's Total
Total is a 40% stakeholder in the project, with State Oil, of Azerbaijan, and GDF Suez its operating partners. Total said this discovery is the result of its aggressive exploration policy and shows its desire to bring the site rapidly into commercial production.
On the other side of the market, Italy's domestic utility suppliers are seeing poor performance this morning after the government announced it is considering freezing the tariffs for electricity, gas, water, and transport suppliers until 2013 in order to contain costs for its citizens and businesses. Snam (NASDAQOTH: SNMRY.PK) is one of the sector's worst performers, down more than 2.5%.
As always, this morning's European news saw some winners and losers -- and perhaps some European buying opportunities. Indeed, legendary investor Warren Buffett has recently spent more than $1 billion buying the stock of a prominent European large cap. If you want to know why Buffett has bought into Europe, this special Motley Fool report -- "The One European Share Warren Buffett Loves" -- reveals everything, including the price he paid. You can download the report today for free. But hurry -- the report is available for a limited time only.
The Motley Fool is helping Europe invest. Better. And with the eurozone economy so uncertain, we're urging everyone to read "Ten Steps To Making A Million In The Market" -- this report may transform your wealth. Click here now to request your free, no-obligation copy.
Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:
Karl does not own any share mentioned in this article. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Total. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.