Com­modi­ties push Europe higher

Malta Independent - - FINANCIAL -

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.

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