European markets closed mixed on Wednesday as investors digested a renewed decline in commodity stocks, and major indices attempted to recover after the terrorist attacks that took place in Belgium on Tuesday.
The pan-European STOXX 600 finished off 0.1 percent down provisionally, with sectors and major bourses ending mixed. London's FTSE 100 ended 0.1 percent up, despite the sharp slip in U.K. mining stocks. France's CAC came off session lows to close 0.2 percent down, while Germany's DAX finished 0.3 percent up.
Europe's markets showed signs of recovery on Wednesday, following a mixed trading session on Tuesday. Stocks were shaken up on Tuesday after Belgium was struck by a series of attacks in which at least 31 people were killed and many more injured. Global terrorist organization ISIS claimed responsibility for the supposed suicide bombings that took place in the capital city's airport and a metro station.
"Equity markets are displaying remarkable resilience, already in positive territory versus a breakeven opening call. There is work to do before engineering breakouts from current ranges, but there looks to be an underlying appetite for recent highs to be freshly tested," Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said in a Wednesday note.
The travel and leisure sector, which was hit hard yesterday, saw several stocks rebound on Wednesday, with the airlines such as Easyjet, IAG and Ryanair closing in positive territory. Travel and tourism chains also recovered, with Thomas Cook jumping 2.9 percent, and TUI ending over 1 percent higher. The retail sector, which was also under pressure on Tuesday finished higher as a sector overall.
Oil prices slip 3% on data
Oil prices retreated on Wednesday as concerns over a global supply glut continued to weigh on sentiment. The Energy Information Administration announced in afternoon trade that U.S. crude stocks rose by 9.4 million barrels in the last week, reaching a total of 532.5 million barrels.
U.S. crude fell even further following the news, off more than 3 percent, to trade at $40.14, while its international counterpart, Brent crude also felt the pressure, trading over 2.5 percent lower to stand around $40.74. Oil stocks tumbled, with Tullow Oil off 5.7 percent, and Sbm Offshore, BP and Shell all seeing declines of 1 percent or more.
Basic resources were Europe's worst performing sector, off 2.1 percent as several metal prices saw sharp falls in the session. Anglo American slipped over 5 percent, while Glencore and BHP Billiton closed down 4 and 2.6 percent respectively.
Credit Suisse higher; William Hill tanks 11%
In corporate news, Credit Suisse said it was accelerating its cost-cutting program which includes axing 2,000 jobs in its global markets business. The bank announced that it is increasing its 2018 cost reduction target from 3.5 billion Swiss francs ($3.59 billion) gross savings to "a least" 4.3 billion Swiss francs. Shares finished up 0.9 percent.
Meanwhile, French luxury fashion brand Hermes reported a 13 percent rise in net profit for 2015 and hiked its dividend. The company added that sales growth in 2016 could be below its medium-term target of 8 percent at constant exchange rates "due to the economic, geopolitical and monetary uncertainties around the world". Shares jumped 2.8 percent.
Elsewhere, Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q in the U.K., jumped almost 6 percent after it said full-year adjusted pretax profit rose 0.3 percent, beating market expectations.
Gambling firm William Hill tanked 11 percent after it warned it would see lower full-year operating profit for 2016.