Europe Markets

European markets close higher; Covestro ends down over 6%


Markets in Europe closed higher Wednesday as investors were fueled by earnings, fresh data releases and the positive implications of President Donald Trump's address to Congress.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 1.47 percent higher with all sectors trading in positive territory. Construction and material stocks were among the best performers profiting from President Trump's promises to invest in infrastructure.

London's FTSE 100 rose 1.64 percent, the DAX in Frankfurt climbed almost 2 percent and the CAC 40 in Paris soared 2.1 percent.

In an address to both houses of Congress that was light on details, he also promised "historic" tax reform.

U.S. markets opened to record highs Wednesday morning following the speech, which also pledged a roll back of business regulations. The Dow hit 21,000, continuing the rally seen since President Trump's inauguration.

Back in Europe, Spanish banking group Banco Sabadell looked to end the day at the top of the benchmark, up 7.2 percent on news that it is to sell its Florida-based retail banking unit to IberiaBank.

Shares of Intesa Sanpaolo were also higher at close of play Wednesday, up over 4.5 percent. Its chairman confirmed Wednesday that the current chief executive, Carlo Messina, has the "full and unchanged" backing from shareholders despite the breakdown of merger talks with Italian insurer Generali.

The construction firm CRH traded higher, up 4.46 percent, after announcing its 2016 results.

On the other hand, chemical company Covestro looked to close the day down 6.49 percent after a share placement. The British fund manager Man Group also ended the day down 3 percent on the news that it expected profit before tax to drop 8 percent.

Meanwhile, ITV reported a 3 percent increase in adjusted earnings per share, which sent its shares higher in late morning trading. The Italian oil firm Eni said Wednesday that net profit stood at 340 million euros ($360 million) in the last quarter recovering from losses seen a year ago. Its shares were up by 3 percent.

In other corporate news, carmaker Ford is considering cutting 1,100 jobs at a factory in the U.K., ITV reported.

In terms of data, British house prices rose faster than expected in February, according to Nationwide. Meanwhile, manufacturing PMI came in softer than expected.

Later this Wednesday, the Bank of Canada is set to announce its latest rate decision.

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