European markets higher as insurance stocks lead gains

Insurance stocks led the gains on Monday, up more than 1.75 percent, as European firms forecast prices to stabilize despite losses from recent hurricanes. Hannover Re said it projected to meet its 2017 profit target despite a “challenging” market. The German reinsurance titan also forecast prices to stabilize when treaties were renewed in early 2018. Meanwhile, Swiss RE said it expected a stable price environment after catastrophes including Hurricane Harvey and flooding in Asia. Both firms were around 4 percent higher shortly after the opening bell.

Retail stocks were also more than 1 percent higher in early morning deals. The sector was led higher by Swedish-based fashion retailer, H&M, after the group received a rating upgrade from Credit Suisse. The bank upgraded the firm by two notches to “outperform” from “under-perform” on Monday. Its shares were almost 3 percent higher.

Looking at individual stocks, Danish pharmaceuticals company, Lundbeck, tumbled to the bottom of the benchmark on Monday. The group’s CEO Kare Schultz resigned from his position at the group to join Israeli pharmacy company, Teva. Shares in Lundbeck were more than 11 percent lower on the news.

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