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Asian Markets at Close Report

European Markets at Close Report

Aug 11, 2016

European Markets at Close Report, by CNBC on August 11, 2016:

Sharp oil rebound lifts Europe stocks at close; K+S tumbles

Arjun Kharpal, Alexandra Gibbs, Holly Ellyatt
European stocks finished higher on Thursday as investors cheered on a sharp rebound in oil prices, while digesting another set of earnings from leading European corporates.
FTSE FTSE 6901.38 34.96 0.51% 516399736
DAX DAX 10727.20 76.31 0.72% 57660928
CAC CAC 4498.27 46.26 1.04% 56360082
IBEX 35 IBEX 35 Idx 8729.40 70.50 0.81% 110412536

The pan-European STOXX 600 hit session highs by the close, jumping 0.65 percent with almost all sectors closing in the black.
Looking at individual bourses, France's CAC and Germany's DAX posted solid gains by the close, up 1 and 0.7 percent respectively. Meanwhile, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 saw some of its gains capped, as sterling fell slightly against the U.S. dollar. The FTSE 100 closed up just 0.5 percent.

Oil prices rebound thanks to IEA

Oil remains a talking point for markets, as prices fluctuated during the session, as a build in U.S. crude inventories and record Saudi Arabian production continued to add pressure to the market. Both Brent and U.S. crude reversed earlier losses to trade higher in afternoon trade, hovering around $44.90 and $42.45 respectively in afternoon trade.

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Oil had fallen sharply in the previous session after data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed crude inventories rose 1.1 million barrels in the week ended August 5, scuppering expectations for a drawdown instead.
Meanwhile on Thursday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its latest report on the market, with the organisation predicting that the world would consume less oil in 2017 than previously thought, as a climate of economic insecurity continues to shake up markets.

Commodities stocks still saw slight signs of pressure but pared most of its losses following the recovery in oil. Inside the oil and gas sector, SBM Offshore led the way, up over 2 percent after it reiterated its 2016 guidance and delivered a decent set of results.
Several basic resources stocks recovered despite metal prices pointing in different directions. Glencore was in the black following the release of its first-half production report, in which it raised its full-year production guidance for copper but lowered it for coal and oil.

Old Mutual slides 4.5%; Housing stocks take a hit

The insurance sector was in focus after key earnings from a number of companies. Zurich Insurance posted net income of $1.6 billion for the first half, down 22 percent on-year. But shares were up 4.5 percent after the firm said operating profit at its general insurance business rose, beating market expectations for a fall.
Swiss Life popped some 2.5 percent, after the insurer delivered a first half net profit that beat expectations. Old Mutual, however, capped gains in the insurance sector after the British firm reported a fall in pre-tax profit. Shares sank 4.5 percent.
Sticking in Germany, utility RWE posted first-half operating profit that missed analyst expectations, but shares jumped over 2 percent.
And German industrial group ThyssenKrupp said core earnings fell 16 percent year-on-year, however shares reversed earlier losses, to trade up.
Potash miner K+S was the STOXX 600's worst performer, with its shares sinking 6.5 percent after it warned that earnings could fall sharply in 2016.

U.K. housebuilders also weighed on the STOXX 600. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported slowing activity in the U.K. housing sector. The institution's house price balance fell to plus 5 in July from +15 in June, its lowest since April 2013.
RICS cited uncertainty around Brexit as the key reason behind the fall. Berkeley Group sat near the bottom of the STOXX 600, off over 4 percent, with other names such as Travis Perkins also sharply lower.