Commodities push Europe higher
European markets struck a note of cautious optimism on Wednesday, with stocks rising and haven assets declining. U.K. shares edged lower as the pound held most of its gains following the surprise election announcement.
Commodity companies helped spur the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, which was rebounding following the biggest one-day loss since November. Sterling pulled back slightly after reaching the strongest level since October on Tuesday. Oil gained before key data is released during the day, the dollar strengthened and U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher opening.
After drops on Tuesday, investors seem to be taking the addition of yet another macro risk in their stride. The U.K. vote joins a slew of elections to be held this year against a backdrop of rising populism in the Europe, while geopolitical tensions are simmering over both North Korea and Syria and the pace of monetary tightening in the world’s biggest economy looks uncertain.
The Stoxx Europe 600 increased 0.4 percent, after dropping 1.1 percent on Tuesday. Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent after the underlying gauge slipped 0.3 percent Tuesday. IBM slumped in after-hours U.S. trading after its 20th consecutive quarterly sales decline.
Gold declined 0.6 percent to $1,282.35 an ounce after closing at the highest since November in the previous session. West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 0.3 percent to $52.59 a barrel, after two days of losses.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.8 percent, taking its fourday loss to 3.2 percent. The main Shenzhen market was also down a fourth day. The Hang Seng Index slid 0.4 percent and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index dropped below the 10,000 level for the first time in two months. Japan’s Topix index was little changed, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.6 percent and South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.5 percent.