Europe ends 2.7% up on oil price recovery; Miners soar

European markets accelerated gains on Wednesday to close sharply higher, as investors cheered the recovery in oil prices and mining stocks.

The pan-European STOXX 600 finished 2.7 percent higher provisionally, with all sectors closing sharply higher, helped by a positive trading session in the U.S.


Oil was in focus after U.S. crude prices rose above Brent on Wednesday, following an unexpectedly large drop in U.S. crude inventories.The Energy Information Administration reported crude inventories fell by 5.9 million barrels last week, which shocked markets as analysts had expected an increase of 1.1 million barrels.

At the European market close, U.S. crude and Brent both traded at over $37 per barrel, up more than 3 percent on the day.

The European oil and gas stock index closed up around 4.8 percent as a result.

Shell and BG shares were also pushed higher by support from shareholder Aberdeen Asset Management for Shell's proposed $53 billion takeover of BG.

Shell released a statement saying the break-even price for the deal was somewhere in the low $60 range for Brent crude oil.

BG Group and Shell's shares both finished more than 5 percent higher on Wednesday.

Tullow Oil was one of the top performers on the STOXX 600, finishing over 10 percent up, with Seadrill and Statoil also posting strong gains, closing up 4.7 and 5.2 percent respectively.

Miners, oil names lead STOXX 600

Base metal prices ticked slightly higher on Wednesday, boosting mining stocks. Steel maker Arcelormittal finished over 11 percent higher, with major miners including Anglo American and Glencore, closing up over 8 percent.

This helped propel London's mining-heavy FTSE 100 index, which ended 2.6 percent higher.

Syngenta up on M&A chatter

Syngenta shares closed 2.5 percent up after the Swiss agrichemicals group said it was in talks with Monsanto, ChemChina and other companies but has not yet received a concrete takeover offer.

French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi finished around 2.8 percent higher after it said it had submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a new diabetes drug.

Shares in Games Digital tanked almost 38 percent, after the British video games retailer said in a trading update that it expected first half profits to fall due to the U.K.'s "challenging" market conditions and disappointing sales.