Auto stocks drive Europe higher, FTSE at new record highs

The European stocks shrugged-off a mixed close on its Asian counterparts and opened firmer on the final trading of this week. Most major European indices resumed their bullish momentum, following a temporary reversal seen yesterday on profit-taking.

While the UK’s FTSE 100 index set a new all-time high beyond 73k levels and headed for straight two weeks of gains. The sentiment in Europe is largely underpinned by a solid rebound seen on the auto sector stocks, driving the European automobile index rose 1.8%, with Fiat Chrysler shares rallying 5%.

Moreover, a rally in the Italian banking sector stocks also added to the upbeat tone around the region’s indices. However, further upside remains restricted as investors turn cautious ahead of the crucial US retail sales, PPI and consumer sentiment data lined up for release later in the NA session.

Meanwhile Germany's DAX 30 index trades 0.51% higher at 11,580 levels, while the UK’s FTSE 100 index gains +0.30% to 7,315. Among other indices, the French CAC 40 index rises +0.63% to 4,895 levels. The pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 index advances +0.55% to trade just ahead of 33k mark.