European Equity Benchmarks Close Higher; Oil Stocks Surge as OPEC Agrees to Cut Production


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The broad-based major European indices closed higher in Wednesday's trading session, as oil stocks and chemical companies helped boost the markets.

In economic news, oil prices rose sharply after OPEC members met in Vienna to work out details of a production cut. Brent crude oil futures were up 9%.

Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 0.6% in November, up from 0.5% in October, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Among the main components of euro area inflation, services is expected to have the highest annual rate in November, followed by food, alcohol & tobacco, non-energy industrial goods, and energy.

In the U.K., Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, has warned about the high level of debt being carried by British households. He said consumers were borrowing more on their credit cards and other unsecured debt.

In Germany, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), reported that retail turnover in October decreased 1% compared with the same month last year. When adjusted for calendar and seasonal variations, the October turnover was 2.4% higher in real terms, and 2.6% in nominal terms larger than that in September of 2016. Meanwhile, turnover from wholesale trade in Germany in Q3 was 0.9% smaller in real terms, and 1.8% smaller in nominal terms than in Q3 of 2015.

Destatis also reported that approximately 43.7 million Germany residents were employed in October. Compared with a year ago, the number employed rose by 359,000, or 0.8%. Although employment continued to rise, it did so at a slower pace than during the first half of the year.

In France, the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), reported a slight slowdown in retail trade. In September, the sales volume in retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles, decelerated slightly (+0.2% after +0.3%). INSEE also reported that producer prices of services sold to French businesses in Q3 fell 0.2%.

And in Spain, the Spanish Statistical Office (INE) reported that the monthly change of the Retail Trade Index at constant prices stands at -0.1%. The annual rate of the General Retail Trade Index at constant prices stands at 2.2%.

In equities, oil stocks surged on the FTSE in London as the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed in Vienna to cut production. Royal Dutch Shell and BP rose 4.3% and 3.8% respectively. They countered volatile mining stocks, which fell in Wednesday trading. Fresnillo was down 2.8% while Rio Tinto and Randgold Resources were both down 2.5%.

In Frankfurt, gas and engineering company Linde, and chemical company BASF led the DAX higher, rising 4.7% and 2.9% respectively. Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank also helped boost the market gaining 2.5% and 1.4% respectively.

And in Paris, oil services firm Technip and oil giant Total led the CAC into positive territory, rising 5.4% and 2.4% respectively. They were followed by chemical company Solvay, industrial group Legrand, and building materials supplier Lafargeholcim, each of which closed 1.9% higher.

The FTSE gained 0.17%, the DAX rose 0.19%, and the CAC-40 was up 0.59%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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