European stock markets close higher as crude prices rebound
Stock markets in Europe closed higher as stocks rebounded after crude oil futures recovered from severe setbacks that had pushed their prices to sub-zero levels for the first time ever
European markets closed higher on Wednesday as stocks rebounded after crude oil futures recovered from recent severe setbacks that had pushed their prices to sub-zero levels for the first time ever in history.
Reports that countries such as Italy and Spain have announced plans to begin easing tight lockdown measures, and News that the U.S. Senate approved a bill to provide funding for hospitals and small businesses and expand coronavirus testing further aided sentiment.
The $484 billion aid package was approved unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday and now heads to the House, which could approve the bill as soon as Thursday.
The pan European Stoxx 600 ended up 1.8%. Among the major indices in Europe, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed up 2.3%, Germany’s DAX surged up 1.61% and France’s CAC 40 advanced 1.25%, while Switzerland’s SMI closed up 0.87%.
Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Sweden ended on a firm note, gaining between 1 and 3.5%.
Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece and Turkey settled modestly higher.
In the U.K. market, Ashtead Group surged up 7.3%. Shares of building materials group CRH gained about 6.5% after the company reported a 3% increase in like-for-like sales in the first quarter.
Polymetal International, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Taylor Wimpey, Antofagasta, Barratt Developments, Smurfit Kappa, Fresnillo and Ferguson gained 5 to 6.5%.
Prudential, Glencore, 3i Group, Berkeley Group, BHP Group, Bunzi and United Utilities also rose sharply.
On the other hand, TUI, BAE Systems, Centrica, Pearson, Burberry Group and EasyJet gained 2 to 5.2%.
In France, STMicroElectronics climbed up 8.6% and Technip gained about 7.1%. Peugeot, ArcelorMittal, Dassault Systemes, Bouygues, Worldline, Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas, Airbus Group, Vinci, Societe Generale, Orange and Veolia ended stronger by 2 to 5%.
In the German market, Infineon Technologies notched up a gain of 5.7%. RWE, Fresenius, Deutsche Telekom, HeidelbergCement, Wirecard, Bayer, Covestro, BASF and Thyssenkrupp gained 2 to 4%.
Shares of Finland’s telecom provider Eliza gained about 6% after the company confirmed its outlook for the current year.
Dutch paints and chemicals maker Akzo Nobel N.V. rose 8% after reporting a whopping 75% jump in first quarter profit, despite headwinds from Covid-19.
In economic news, UK inflation slowed to a three-month low in March, data from the Office for National Statistics showed. Consumer price inflation eased to 1.5% in March from 1.7 percent in February. This was the lowest rate since last December, when prices were up 1.3%. The rate came in line with expectations.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices remained flat after climbing 0.4% in February.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June soared nearly 25% and Brent Crude futures spurted as well to trade above $20 a barrel, after suffering heavy losses in the previous two sessions.