European stocks posted gains on Wednesday helped by advances in energy shares, as oil prices were in recovery mode, while results of the Dutch election and the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting were on deck. It was a similar atmosphere on Wall Street, with US stocks trading in the green with all 11 of the S&P 500’s primary sectors trading higher during the session.
Resource stocks in focus
Miners got a lift as the dollar edged down on Wednesday, aiding a rise in dollar-denominated metals pricing of copper and platinum. Both were trading in positive territory, gaining 0.7% and 1.07% respectively.
Near the top of the FTSE 100, shares of Rio Tinto rose 2% and Glencore added 2.83%. Staying in the sector, shares of BHP Billiton moved up 1.4%.
Meanwhile, oil shares moved higher after being knocked down on Tuesday during a selloff in oil prices. Shares of oil producer BP were up slightly, and rival Royal Dutch Shell also rose marginally. Oil prices pushed higher after the industry group American Petroleum Institute reported a decline in US crude supplies late Tuesday. Oil prices stumbled earlier after a monthly OPEC report showed an increase in US and Saudi Arabian crude output in an already oversupplied global market.
Crude oil added 1.6% on Wednesday, to close at $48.61 a barrel.
A turn for the worse
Shares in retail giant H&M were in the red. The Swedish fashion retailer’s first quarter sales excluding VAT rose 8% to 46.99 billion Krona, below the 48.03 billion Krona analysts had expected. Shares dropped 5% on this news.
Meanwhile, German police raided the offices and homes of Audi executives in two German cities in connection with a criminal investigation in the wake of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions cheating scandal. Audi shares dropped 1.6% and Volkswagen shares fell 1.2% on this news.
Shares of Twitter were also trading in negative territory after dozens of prominent accounts were hacked early Wednesday. The hacker posted messages supporting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in his diplomatic feud with the Netherlands and Germany. Shares of Twitter fell 2.68% as a result.
Fed rates, Dutch election
Investors took the time to watch for political developments in Europe, with a special focus on the Netherlands where Dutch voters turned out in their masses on Wednesday to elect their new government. Mark Rutte was in pole postion to secure the biggest share of the vote and sit at the helm of the countries government, ahead of GeeryWilders’s anti-Islam and anti-Eu Freedom party.
But the chief focus on Wednesday was the monetary policy meeting of the Fed, where the decision was taken to raise interest rates for the third time since December 2015. The Fed increased its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, and continued to project two more increases later this year.
This article was issued by Rebecca Naudi, Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article is being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.