European shares end higher as Wall Street rallies

European markets finished higher on Wednesday, reversing earlier losses as Wall Street shares bounced back and Asian stocks pared some losses in a volatile trading day.

The U.K.'s benchmark FTSE 100 turned positive in afternoon trading and ended 0.4 percent higher, down from highs seen earlier. The French CAC 40 and the German DAX both ended up around 0.3 percent.

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Wall Street recovers

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite index swung widely between positive and negative territory. It closed down 0.4 percent after falling as much as 4.6 percent during the session. This came ahead of a long weekend in China to celebrate the anniversary of the Allied powers' victory over Japan 70 years ago.

U.S. stocks jumped Wednesday, trying to recover from the worst start to a September in 13 years, as investors eyed calmer global markets and domestic data.

The S&P 500 dipped in and out of correction territory, defined as 10 percent away from its 52-week high. The Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq composite remained in correction mode.

The major averages attempted to hold mild gains in choppy intraday trade.

Oil prices fell after U.S. government data showed crude stocks rose unexpectedly last week as refinery throughput fell for a fourth week and imports jumped.

Brent crude for October fell $1.51, or 3 percent, to $48.05 a barrel. U.S. crude for October was down $1.93, or 4.25 percent, to $43.48 a barrel.

Glencore hits record low

Elsewhere, British online fashion retailer ASOS announced that CEO Nick Robertson, who owns 8.4 percent of ASOS equity, was stepping down as chief executive after 15 years. Shares ended around 0.9 percent lower.

Tesco shares ended around 0.8 percent higher after news wires reported that the supermarket operator had picked private equity company MBC Partners as the preferred bidder for its South Korean unit.

Miner Glencore fell to the bottom of indices, tanking 8 percent on concerns of a slowdown in China, with shares in the group hitting a record low.

The European Central Bank will hold its regular policy meeting and news conference on Thursday. No major policy changes are expected to be announced by the central bank's President Mario Draghi, but he may stress that extra support in the future is possible, analysts said.

U.S. economic data is likely to be in the spotlight on Wednesday, as markets assess whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later in September.

July's factory orders rose 0.4 percent, below consensus expectations for a 0.9 percent increase. The second-straight month of increases was driven by strong demand for auto sales. Durable goods orders for July were revised higher to 2.2 percent from 2.0 percent.

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