Europe Markets

European stocks close higher as markets attempt to recover from sell-off

Key Points
  • The higher trade for European stocks comes after regional markets retreated Tuesday, tracking negative global sentiment as U.S. markets struggled to maintain a comeback rally following weeks of losses.
  • The World Economic Forum continues in Davos on Wednesday with the event bringing together political and business leaders from around the world.

LONDON — European stocks closed higher Wednesday as global markets tried to bounce back from a widespread retreat in the previous session.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed up by 0.8%. Oil and gas shares climbed 2.1% to lead the gains as most sectors and major bourses entered positive territory.

The higher trade for European stocks came after regional markets retreated Tuesday, tracking negative global sentiment as U.S. markets struggled to maintain a comeback rally following weeks of losses.

There was some positive data on Tuesday with a flash purchasing managers' index (PMI) reading for the euro zone in May coming in at 55.8, slightly ahead of estimates, as business growth across the continent slowed but remained resilient. Still, global concerns about inflation and growth kept a lid on gains.

On Wall Street, U.S. stocks were mostly higher as traders awaited minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting. The Fed hiked interest rates by a half percentage point at the May 4 meeting.

The World Economic Forum continued in Davos on Wednesday with the event bringing together political and business leaders from around the world. This year's summit comes after several years of Covid-19 pandemic and amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which is at the top of the agenda.

CNBC spoke to a wide range of leaders, including the CEOs of RWE and Rabobank, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Spain's Deputy PM Teresa Ribera, among many others.

On the data front, German GDP grew 0.2% in the first quarter of 2022, the Federal Statistics Office said on Wednesday, as Europe's largest economy narrowly avoided a recession on the back of strong construction and machinery investments.

In terms of individual share price movement in Europe, Austrian electricity provider Verbund surged 9% to the top of the Stoxx 600 after proposing the distribution of a one-off special dividend for the 2022 financial year.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, British sports-fashion retailer JD Sports sank 6% after announcing the departure of CEO Peter Cowgill.

Enjoyed this article?
For exclusive stock picks, investment ideas and CNBC global livestream
Sign up for CNBC Pro
Start your free trial now