Europe Markets

Europe ends up, SABMiller pops 20%; oil prices soar

Europe ends higher, SABMiller; oil prices soar
Europe ends higher, SABMiller; oil prices soar

European equities finished Wednesday in the green as takeover talks and rising oil prices kept investors happy, as they awaited the outcome of a meeting by the Federal Reserve that could see the first U.S. interest rate hike in nine years.

The pan-European STOXX 600 closed up around 1.5 percent, buoyed by a positive trading from across the globe.

Both London's FTSE 100 and France's CAC index accelerated gains at the close, finishing up roughly 1.5 and 1.7 percent respectively. After earlier wobbles, the German DAX ended 0.4 percent up.

European markets

Anticipation among investors is high as the Fed meets. The central bank will announce its rate decision Thursday afternoon local time. A CNBC Fed survey showed 49 percent of people saw the fed hiking rates this month, despite financial markets experiencing a turbulent Summer.

Ahead of the announcement, U.S. stocks traded higher on Wednesday, as did Asian stocks. China's Shanghai Composite finished 4.9 percent up, while the Shenzhen Composite surged 6.5 percent.

SABMiller surges on bid talk, drinks and oil spark

London-based brewer SABMIller confirmed that Belgium's Anheuser-Busch InBev intended to make a proposal to acquire it. SABMiller said it has not yet received a proposal and would respond as appropriate. Shares in AB InBev closed more than 6 percent up, while SABMiller saw its stock price shoot nearly 20 percent higher.

Beverage companies elsewhere fizzed on the news. Brewing firms Heineken and Carlsberg surged to close up 3.6 and 4.7 percent respectively. Remy Cointreau closed up 5.2 percent.

Oil prices shot up sharply on Wednesday, after an unexpected decline in U.S. stockpiles and an rise in U.S. gasoline prices, which helped offset fears over Asia. U.S. crude surged over 5 percent to trade above $47 per barrel, while Brent gained more than 4 percent to trade around $49.75.

Feeding off this, oil companies posted sharp gains, with Seadrill up 6.9 percent and Dutch-based firm SBM offshore up 5.3 percent.

Anheuser-Busch looks to acquire SABMiller
Anheuser-Busch looks to acquire SABMiller

Swiss luxury jewelry maker Richemont surged 6.6 percent after the owner of Cartier said sales for the five months ended August 31 rose 4 percent at constant exchange rates, beating market expectations. The news sent shares in Christian Dior and LVMH sharply higher too.

Inditex, the Spanish retailer that owns Zara, reported a 26 percent year-on-year rise in profit, sending shares up 5.9 percent.

Glencore saw shares rise over 5 percent after the London-listed miner said it has raised $2.5 billion through a share placement as part of its strategy to cut its debt.

Not all was good however. Shares in France's Zodiac Aerospace tanked nearly 19 percent after JPMorgan downgraded its recommendation on the stock to "underweight" from "neutral."

All about the data

In data news, U.K. unemployment rate remained stable at 5.5 percent in the three months to July, while average weekly earnings (excluding bonuses) rose 2.9 percent year-on-year, according to the Office for National Statistics. Sterling rose against the dollar as a result.

Meanwhile, a final official reading of the euro zone's annual inflation rate for August was revised down to 0.1 percent from an initial estimate of 0.2 percent, meaning the single currency bloc is hovering close to deflation territory.

Also on Wednesday, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) cut its global growth forecast for 2015 to 3 percent from the 3.1 percent forecast in June. The organization also slashed its 2016 growth forecast to 3.6 percent from the 3.8 percent estimated in June.