European stock markets pushed higher Wednesday, helped by strong earnings from index heavyweight Deutsche Telekom , while market participants looking to central banks to mitigate the damage caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus in China.
The U.K.’s FTSE index traded 0.8% higher, France’s CAC 40 was up 0.5%, while the DAX was 0.4% higher. The broad based Stoxx Europe 600 index posted another record high, gaining 0.6% to 432.96.
Shares in Deutsche Telekom rose 2.7% after reporting bottom line gains of 80% year-on-year, with U.S. unit T-Mobile gleaning millions more customers ahead of a merger with competitor Sprint.
Earlier Wednesday, while stock markets in China traded lower, many neighboring countries saw gains, helping the overall tone in Europe. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.9% higher, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.5% and the KOSPI 50 in South Korea rose 0.1%.
Elsewhere in Europe, shares in International Airlines Group , the owner of British Airways, climbed 1.3% after Qatar Airways Group increased its stake to 25.1%, a vote of confidence in the group’s strategy.
Looking at European economic data, there are U.K. inflation numbers for January. Expectations are for an acceleration in the headline consumer price index to 1.6% from 1.3% in January. This is still below the Bank of England’s 2% target, but could weaken the case for rate cuts in the coming months.
Oil markets rebounded Wednesday on the back of the U.S. decision to sanction a trading subsidiary of Russia’s Rosneft for helping transport Venezuela’s oil to refineries in India and China. This move may cut aggregate supply marginally.
U.S. crude futures traded 0.7% higher at $52.68 a barrel and Brent rose 0.6% to $58.09.
Additionally, gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,610.65/oz, holding above the physiologically important $1,600 level for the first time since U.S.-Iran tensions sent it spiking to $1,611.42 in early January. EUR/USD traded at 1.0806, after pushing as low as $1.0786 for the first time since April 2017.