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European markets head higher amid 'moment of truth' at COP26

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European markets head higher amid 'moment of truth' at COP26
UK prime minister Boris Johnson arrives for the COP26 UN Climate Summit in Glasgow on 1 November 2021. Photo: Phil Noble/POOL/AFP via Getty

Stocks in Europe headed higher on Monday, as a volley of high-stakes meetings between world leaders kicked off with the opening of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. 

Delegates from around 200 countries arrived in the Scottish city on Sunday to announce how they will cut emissions by 2030 and help the planet.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson called the summit the "world's moment of truth," saying: "The question everyone is asking is whether we seize this moment or let it slip away."

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) had gained 0.9% by the closing bell in London. Germany's DAX (^GDAXI) was also up 0.8% and France's CAC (^FCHI) rose 1.1%. 

“It is an incredibly important week ahead for markets and there are numerous macro and political factors which could easily upset investors,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

Volatility was low as investors held their breath waiting to find out whether the Bank of England would press the button on the first of many interest rate hikes expected over the next 12 months. 

US stocks also traded higher. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Dow (^DJI) were up 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. The Nasdaq (^IXIC) also rose 0.4% by the time of the European close.  

"Along with monitoring the earnings by corporations, investors will be looking ahead to the US central bank’s two-day meeting starting Tuesday," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst of AvaTrade. 

"This meeting is important because the Federal Reserve is expected to announce that it is going to start winding down its quantitative easing programme, worth $120bn (£87.8bn) in monthly bond purchases, aiming to eliminate it entirely before mid-2022."

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Overnight in Asia, the Hang Seng (^HSI) and the SSE Composite (000001.SS) finished 0.9% and 0.1% lower respectively. 

In China, weekend releases of the official manufacturing and services PMIs for October caused some early palpitations as both underperformed, falling to 49.2 and 52.4 respectively. 

Despite this, the privately complied Caixin PMI, rose unexpectedly to 50.6, providing some relief for regional markets.

Meanwhile the Nikkei (^N225) gained 2.6% as Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida’s coalition maintained a comfortable majority in Sunday’s parliamentary election. 

Following his re-election Kishida is expected to draw up a package of measures that will boost growth in the country. 

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