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European Stocks Close On Buoyant Note For 2nd Straight Day

European stocks closed on a buoyant note on Thursday, extending gains from the previous session, as worries about inflation eased a bit after the Fed minutes said the policymakers reiterated a tough stance to rein in soaring consumer prices.

Better-than-expected earnings guidance from Samsung Electronics for the second quarter contributed as well to the positive sentiment in the markets.

The markets also digested news about British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's resignation after scores of top officials announced their resignations over the past two days.

Sterling firmed against major currencies following Johnson's resignation.

On Wednesday, the minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting showed the central bank was committed to bringing down inflation.

The minutes said the members of the central bank said there would be another 50 or 75-basis point move in the July meeting.

The minutes also said that the participants continued to anticipate that ongoing increases in the target range for the federal funds would be appropriate to achieve the monetary policy committee's objectives.

The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 1.88%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 advanced 1.14%, Germany's DAX surged 1.97% and France's CAC 40 spurted 1.6%, while Switzerland's SMI gained 0.93%.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkey closed with sharp to moderate gains, while Russia edged up marginally.

In the UK market, Antofagasta, Anglo American Plc, Harbour Journey and Glencore gained 6 to 7.4%.

BP, Prudential, RS Group, Airtel Africa, Rolls-Royce Holdings, Rio Tinto, Legal & General, Ocado Group, Ashtead Group, Natwest Group, IAG, JD Sports Fashion, Scottish Mortgage, HSBC Holdings, Standard Chartered, British Land, United Group, M&G and Centrica gained 3 to 4.5%.

Shell gained more than 3% after the energy giant said surging margins from fuel production could have added more than $1bn (€980m) to the earnings of its refining business last quarter.

Electronics retailer Currys soared more than 8.5% after reporting better-than-expected annual pre-tax profit.

Persimmon declined nearly 5% after it warned of a downturn in the volume of new houses delivered in the first half of the year.

Flutter Entertainment, Entain, British American Tobacco, Smith & Nephew, Diageo and Coca-Cola HBC shed 2 to 4.1%.

In the French market, Faurecia rallied nearly 8%. Atos, Renault, Valeo, ArcelorMittal, Veolia, Saint Gobain, Societe Generale, Air Fance-KLM, Kering, Safran, Michelin, Capgemini, AXA, BNP Paribas, STMicroElectronics, Airbus Group, LVMH, Credit Agricole, Vinci and Accor gained 2 to 6%.

Hermes International and Pernod Ricard shed about 2.5% and 1.4%, respectively.

In Germany, Porsche Automobil, Daimler, Zalando, BMW, Volkswagen, Puma, Covestro, BASF, Deutsche Bank, HelloFresh, Continental, Infineon Technologies and HeidelbergCement gained 3 to 6%.

Shares of Danish shipping giant Maersk climbed more than 7% on the back of a positive read-across from Chinese peer COSCO's first-half trading update.

On the economic front, Germany's industrial production grew 0.2% in May from April, when output was up by revised 1.3%, Destatis reported. Output was expected to climb 0.4%.

On a yearly basis, industrial output declined 1.5% after easing 2.5% in April.

U.K. house prices rose at the fastest annual pace since late 2004 in June, survey data from the Llyods Bank subsidiary Halifax showed.

The house price index climbed 13% year-over-year in June, faster than the 10.7% rise in May. The latest annual price increase was the fastest since late 2004.

Switzerland's unemployment rate declined further in June, in line with expectations, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, or SECO, said on Thursday.

The unadjusted unemployment rate dropped to 2% in June from 2.1% in the previous month. In the corresponding month last year, the jobless rate was 2.9%.

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