European shares rise marginally; oil stocks slide as U.S. plans reserve release

Credit: REUTERS/STAFF

European shares edged higher on Thursday, led by gains in automobile and defensive sectors, while oil stocks tumbled as a U.S. plan to tap into its strategic petroleum reserves weakened crude prices.

For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window

March 31 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher on Thursday, led by gains in automobile and defensive sectors, while oil stocks tumbled as a U.S. plan to tap into its strategic petroleum reserves weakened crude prices.

The pan-European stock index .STOXX rose 0.2%, despite a 1.5% drop in oil stocks SXEP.

London's energy- and materials-heavy FTSE 100 index .FTSE rose 0.1%, after data showed Britain's economy grew more quickly than previously thought in the fourth quarter.

The STOXX 600 is down about 5.5% for the January-March period and looks set to end a seven quarter winning streak, as investors remain circumspect in the face of the Ukraine crisis and its impact on inflation and economic growth.

For the month, however, the index was on course to log its first gain of 2022.

Sweden's H&M HMb.ST slumped 7.9% after reporting a smaller profit than expected for the December-February period, its fiscal first quarter.

(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

((susan.mathew@thomsonreuters.com; +91-80-6287-2704;))

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

Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

Learn More