European markets bounce back after global equity sell-off

Key Points
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up around 1.2 percent on Wednesday, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory.
  • The European Commission is scheduled to take the first step towards disciplining Rome over its contentious draft fiscal proposal on Wednesday.
  • U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May discussed the current state of Brexit negotiations with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

European stocks closed higher Wednesday, clawing their way back from sharp losses sustained in the previous session.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished provisionally up 1.2 percent during the day's deals, with all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

Europe's banking index was among the top performers Wednesday morning, up almost 2 percent amid support from Italy's notoriously fragile lenders. Banco BPM, Ubi Banca and Intesa Sanpaolo all surged higher amid reports the country's Deputy Prime Minister, Matteo Salvini, could be prepared to review the government's 2019 budget.

However, the European Union has since announced it will look to sanction Italy with a fine if the country continues to refused to submit a budget proposal that abides by its rules.

Looking at individual stocks, hospital chain NMC Health rose towards the top of the European benchmark during mid-morning deals. It comes after J.P. Morgan raised its stock recommendation to "overweight" from "neutral." Shares of the London-listed firm rose 8.4 percent.

Meanwhile, British defense contractor Babcock took a one-off charge of £120 million ($153.7 million) on Wednesday. The charge comes as the company plans to reshape its business, while it also warned revenue from its nuclear decommissioning division would likely fall more than anticipated next year. Shares slipped 4.8 percent.

Markets around the globe have been under pressure this week, with stocks in Asia dipping into negative territory overnight after Wall Street finished Tuesday's session deep in red.

U.S. stocks bounced back in the Wednesday session and by the European close the Dow Jones Industrial Average was higher by more than 150 points. The U.S. markets will be closed Thursday because of Thanksgiving Day.


Back in Europe, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May traveled to Brussels on Wednesday to discuss Brexit developments with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

The British leader is currently facing broad criticism from across the political spectrum, amid lingering concerns she could soon face a vote of no-confidence.

The EU is due to hold a summit to discuss Britain's proposed deal on Sunday. If the 27 remaining member states agree to sign off on the draft agreement later this week, the British government would then have to win over lawmakers at a vote in early December.

Sticking with politics, investors will also be keeping watch of any news out of the U.S., as its trade relations with China and the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election continue to be of key focus for markets.

President Trump's decision to give his support to Saudi Arabia despite international outrage over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has also come in for criticism.

In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, the Saudi foreign minister denied the country's government had any involvement with the as yet unexplained death.