Europe Markets

European stocks close flat; autos, miners outperform

European stocks close flat; autos, miners outperform

European stocks pared gains to close flat on Wednesday, with auto stocks and miners outperforming after some recovery in oil prices.

The pan-European STOXX 600 closed flat, as did the U.K.'s benchmark FTSE 100 and the French CAC index.

The German DAX outperformed to close provisionally 0.5 percent higher, boosted by auto stocks, which make up a comparatively large part of its index.

Stocks in the U.S. traded mixed, with a boost from oil prices pared somewhat by declines in some tech stocks. Shares of Apple fell more than 1 percent.

In Europe, the autos sector was boosted by stock of Volkswagen, which closed nearly 7 percent higher. This came after Volkswagen's new chief executive, Matthias Mueller, gave details in an interview with a German newspaper about his plans to handle the diesel emissions crisis.

Volkswagen-owned Porsche closed around 5.5 percent higher and unrelated European automakers also outperformed. Shares of France's Renault closed up nearly 7 percent, while Germany's BMW ended over 4 percent higher.

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Tuesday's rally in oil prices also boosted European basic resources stocks on Wednesday. This was despite a paring in crude gains on Wednesday, after weekly data from the U.S. government showed a rise in oil inventories to 3.073 million barrels.

Among the top performers was offshore driller Seadrill, which gained over 12 percent and Tullow Oil, which closed around 8.5 percent higher. Anglo American gained nearly nearly 10 percent, while Antofagasta and Rio Tinto both ended the day over 7 percent higher.

However, the top performer of all was Lonmin, which continued a week-long rally to close a staggering 33.5 percent higher on the day.

The slight recovery in oil prices proved bad news for shares of airlines, however, for whom rising prices would translate into higher fuel costs. Budget airlines Easyjet and Ryanair closed the day around 5 percent lower.

SABMiller rejects AB InBev bid to build monster brewer

In other company news, SABMiller rejected Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev)'s raised bid to buy the U.K. brewery company for £42.15 per share in cash.

After the news, AB InBev shares pared earlier gains to close around 0.6 percent higher, while SABMiller ended around 0.3 percent up.

Shares of British supermarket chain Tesco closed 2.5 percent higher, despite the British supermarket chain reporting a 55 percent drop in operating profit for the first half of the year. The company said that it was trading ahead of expectations, outperforming rivals and that it would invest more in the second half of the year in order to regain competitiveness.

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