Europe Markets

Europe ends higher after bumper earnings day

Europe ends higher after bumper earnings day

European stocks finished higher on Wednesday after a bumper day of earnings, while investors awaited news from a two-day policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended up around 1 percent, despite trading lower on the day at one point.

Britain's FTSE 100 closed almost 1.2 percent higher, while the French CAC and German DAX finished up roughly 0.8 and 0.3 percent respectively.

Italy's FTSE MIB was an exception however, holding in the red to finish around 0.3 percent lower.

A similar story was seen across the Atlantic, as U.S. stocks traded mostly higher on Wednesday, with investors digested earnings and awaited the release of the Fed statement that could shed light on the timing of a rate hike.

Earnings onslaught

One of the biggest names reporting today, Barclays, said adjusted pre-tax profit was up 11 percent to £3.7 billion in the first half of the year, sending shares to close up around 1.8 percent.

French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen said its net profit for the first half of the year came in at 571 million euros ($630.5 million), after booking a 114 million euro loss a year earlier. Peugeot ended the day on a 6 percent pop.

Total said second quarter revenue fell 29 percent year-on-year to $44.7 billion, while adjusted net profit fell 2 percent to $3.085 billion as the low oil price continues to bite. Despite this, shares in the firm ended almost 2.6 percent higher.

In the pharmaceutical space, Bayer reported a 20.9 percent rise in net profit in the second quarter to 1.15 billion euros ($1.27 billion) from 953 million euros in the same period last year, sending shares to close up almost 4 percent.

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Dutch publishing company Wolters Kluwer reported better-than-expected revenues, up 17 percent in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2014. Shares in the firm surged to near the top of the Stoxx 600, finishing up over 6 percent.

Oil and gas company Saipem announced thousands of job cuts on Tuesday and revised down its outlook for the rest of the year. Shares in the Italian firm plunged over 8.8 percent as a result, before paring losses to close 3.4 percent down.