Europe Markets: European stocks set to close quarter with stronger gain than U.S.

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European stocks on Monday were on track to end the quarter with a mild gain, capping three months of turmoil on the political and economic front.

Up 0.04% to 391.93 on the day, the Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, +0.11%  has climbed 1.9% for the quarter. The U.S. S&P 500 SPX, -0.53%   is up 0.7% over the same period. European stocks are much cheaper than their U.S. counterparts, reflecting worries about the area’s low growth. According to J.P. Morgan data, the Euro Stoxx 50 has a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.6, compared to 18.1 times for S&P 500 components.

Top gainers in Europe for the July-to-September period include telecoms group Altice Europe ATC, -0.79%  , French supermarket chain Casino Guichard CO, +0.36%  and U.K. aerospace firm Cobham COB, +0.03%, each with gains of over 40%.

Losers included software firm Micro Focus International MCRO, +0.96%  , down 46% over the last three months, U.K. bank CYBG CYBG, +0.57%  , which has dropped nearly 42%, and steel maker Evraz EVR, +1.22%  , down 32%. 

The German DAX DAX, +0.17%  dropped 0.03% to 12377.84, the French CAC 40 PX1, +0.20%  increased 0.06% to 5644.22 and the U.K. FTSE 100 UKX, -0.12%  fell 0.08% to 7420.60.

Attention is turning to U.S.-China trade talks scheduled for October. A Treasury Department spokeswoman over the weekend said there no current plans to block Chinese companies from listing in the U.S., after a published report unsettled markets on Friday.

Whitbread WTB, -5.08%  shares fell 4.2% as Barclays downgraded the U.K. owner of Premier Inn low cost hotels to equal-weight, with the bank saying the firm’s investment case is “muddled.”

Electricite de France EDF, +2.68%  shares rose 2.5% after the power firm said it will receive about 400 million euros in compensation for closing a nuclear power plant early.