European markets close on a high note on bargain hunting and weak commodity prices

European stocks rebounded from recent steep losses and closed on a high note on Wednesday as commodity prices tumbled and traders engaged in a hectic bargain hunt across the board.

Sentiment was helped after analysts said a US and UK ban on Russian oil imports would be far less disruptive to the world. markets than a complete international embargo.

In addition, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was no longer pushing for Ukraine’s NATO membership, a sensitive issue that was one of the reasons given by Russia for invading its pro-neighbour. western.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index jumped 4.68%. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 3.25%, Germany’s DAX 7.92% and France’s CAC 40 7.13%, while Switzerland’s SMI jumped 3.95%.

Among other European markets, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain rose 4-8%.

The Czech Republic, Denmark, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey gained 1.3-3.5%. Norway finished with modest gains.

In the UK market, Polymetal International soared nearly 70%. The precious metals miner said he was still unaffected by the ongoing sanctions in Russia.

Evraz climbed 18.7%, Melrose Industries jumped 13.5%, Electrocomponents, St. James Place and IAG gained 11-12%, while JD Sports Fashion, Flutter Entertainment, Coca-Cola HBC, CRH and Smurfit Kappa Group gained 9-10%.

Scottish Mortgage, Prudential, Whitbread, ICP, Lloyds Banking Group, 3i Group, Next and Associated British Foods gained 7-9%.

Shares of Prudential rallied strongly after the company said it posted a 16% increase in operating profit last year, helped by strong new insurance sales.

Shares of Phoenix Group Holdings rose after the company said it was talking to its asset management partners to understand how they manage their risks in Russia and Ukraine.

Shares of consumer goods giant Unilever gained nearly 3% after the company announced it was suspending imports and exports out of Russia.

Fresnillo fell 7.2% and BAE Systems lost around 4.2%, while BP, Anglo American Plc, Shell, Antofagasta, Glencore and Rio Tinto lost 1-2.3%.

On the French market, Faurecia soared by more than 17%. Accor, Valeo, Veolia, Société Générale, Renault, Unibail Rodamco and StMicroelectronics gain 10 to 14%.

LVMH, LO’real, Michelin, Hermes International, Sanofi, Airbus Group, Schneider Electric, Kering, Air Liquide, AXA, Vinci, Pernod Ricard, Safran, Danone, Crédit Agricole, CapGemini, Engie, Saint Gobain Essilor and BNP Paribas gain 6 at 10%.

French software major Dassault Systèmes SA gained almost 5%. The company said it had decided to suspend all new business in Russia and Belarus, following the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In Germany, Adidas jumped nearly 14% after the firm forecast strong growth for the year. Deutsche Post soared nearly 10% after announcing a 65% increase in operating profit in 2021.

Porsche Automobil, Puma, Volkswagen, Siemens, Merck and BASF gain 10 to 13%. Zalando, Munich RE, Covestro, Fresenius, HelloFresh, RWE and HeidelbergCement rose 8-9.5%.

Deutsche Bank, Siemens Healthineers, Allianz, E.ON, BMW, Sartorius, Brenntag, MTU Aero Engines, SAP, Deutsche Wohnen and Vonovia also closed with strong gains.

In terms of economic news, salaried employment in France continued to grow in the fourth quarter, driven by private employment, INSEE said on Wednesday.

Payroll employment increased by 0.4%, or 106,900 jobs. This is the fourth consecutive quarterly increase. Employment rose 0.5% in the third quarter.

Private payroll employment rose 0.6%, while public sector employment fell 0.2% in the fourth quarter.

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