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European stocks climb higher; banks rebound after tax worries

Published 08/09/2023, 04:04 PM
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Investing.com - European stock markets traded higher Wednesday, as investors attempted to recoup recent losses while digesting more quarterly corporate earnings.

At 03:50 ET (07:50 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 1% higher, the CAC 40 in France gained 1.3% and the FTSE 100 in the U.K. climbed 0.8%.

Europe's banks bounce after Tuesday's weakness

Sentiment has been boosted in Europe Wednesday by gains in the banking sector, bouncing after the previous session’s sharp losses on the surprise announcement by the Italian government of a 40% windfall tax on its lenders, which helped drag the wider European stock markets sharply lower.

The Italian authorities clarified the situation late Tuesday by stating that the new tax could not breach 0.1% of a lender's total assets.

Italy's major lenders, UniCredit (BIT:CRDI), Banco BPM (BIT:BAMI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (BIT:ISP), all gained over 2% Wednesday, dragging the wider European banking index higher.

Corporate earnings continue to flow

The earnings season continues Wednesday, with Ahold Delhaize (AS:AD) stock falling 2.7% after the Dutch supermarket chain's second-quarter net profit came in below expectations even as the company raised its free cash flow guidance for 2023, helped by growth in loyalty and online sales.

Delivery Hero (ETR:DHER) stock soared 8% after the German online takeaway food company raised its full-year revenue outlook, while Continental (ETR:CONG) stock rose 0.5% even as the tire manufacturer lowered its outlook for its tires sector, citing a declining market in the tire-replacement business in Europe and North America.

Flutter Entertainment (LON:FLTRF) stock fell over 5% despite the world's largest online betting company's first-half core earnings jumping 76% as its fast-growing U.S. Fanduel brand turned a profit for the first time. Still, its full-year guidance could be seen as conservative after the string first half.

Across the pond, a lot of attention will be on the numbers from Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), with investors listening for any updates on the future of the entertainment giant’s ESPN sports channel and the movie studio's plans for navigating an ongoing writer and actor strike in Hollywood.

China’s inflation data disappoints

The gains in Europe have emerged despite the release of disappointing inflation data out of China, suggesting the world’s second-largest economy, and a major export market for Europe's biggest companies, is still struggling after a dismal second quarter.

China’s consumer price index fell 0.3% in the 12 months to July, the first annual contraction in CPI since September 2021, while the producer price index shrank 4.4% in the same month.

Crude rebounds despite U.S. inventory build

Oil prices rebounded after early losses Wednesday, helped by the wider boost to risk taking.

However, gains are likely to be limited given the concerns over the health of the Chinese economy, the world's largest oil importer, as well as indications of a large weekly build in U.S. inventories.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed that U.S. crude inventories grew by over 4 million barrels in the week to July 28, much more than expectations for a small draw.

Official inventory data from the Energy Information Administration is due later in the session, amid concerns that U.S. fuel demand may be falling as the end of the summer season approaches.

By 03:50 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.3% higher at $83.15 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.2% to $86.36. Both contracts gained nearly $1 the previous day.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,963.55/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.3% higher at 1.0981.

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