European Stocks Higher; Commerzbank Posts Q2 Loss
8/4/2021 11:00:42 AM -

European stock markets traded broadly higher Wednesday, helped by positive global sentiment, although Germany's Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) disappointed with a second-quarter loss.

At 4:05 AM ET (0805 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.4% higher, the CAC 40 in France rose 0.3% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.2%.

European markets were helped by a positive handover, with Asian markets lifted by China’s services sector recording faster growth in July, while on Wall Street the broad-based S&P 500 closed Tuesday at a fresh record high.

The European second-quarter earnings season, which has been generally positive so far, has continued Wednesday.

Taylor Wimpey (LON:TW) stock rose 4.2% after the U.K. homebuilder raised its full-year earnings outlook, benefiting from Britain's housing boom, while Hugo Boss (DE:BOSSn) stock rose 1.2% after the German luxury fashion house said it expected business to continue to rebound in the second half of the year as sales recovered to pre-pandemic levels in Britain and China in the second quarter.

Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) stock fell 4.5% after the German lender recorded a second-quarter loss as it continues with its major restructuring, involving hundreds of branch closures and 10,000 job cuts. The bank also announced it would write off 200 million euros in the quarter, abandoning a project to outsource securities settlement to HSBC.

The results were an outlier from most of the European banking sector, which has generally beaten expectations this quarter thanks to reserve releases and economic reopening.

Thales (PA:TCFP) stock rose 1.9% after the French aerospace company announced Wednesday that it was in advanced talks to sell its railway signaling business to Japan's Hitachi (OTC:HTHIY) for around $2 billion.

Rolls-Royce (OTC:RYCEY) stock rose 1.8% after the British engine maker agreed to sell its Norwegian ship engine business Bergen to UK-based Langley Holdings, for around $130 million.

In Switzerland, the mystery over the recent rally in pharma giant Roche Holding AG (SIX:RO) was cleared up as SoftBank (OTC:SFTBY) revealed it had taken a $5 billion stake in the company. Roche stock has risen by over 25% since May and added another 0.9% in early trade.

In economic news, the Eurozone July services PMI data rose slightly from the previous month, but came in just below expectations.

Elsewhere, oil prices stabilized Wednesday following consecutive down days on concerns that mounting Covid cases in both the U.S. and China, the two biggest consumers of crude in the world, will hit fuel demand.

Providing support was U.S. crude oil supply data from the American Petroleum Institute, released on Tuesday, which showed a draw of 879,000 barrels for the week ending Jul. 30.

Investors now await crude oil supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, due later in the day, for confirmation.

At 4:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.2% higher at $70.73 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.5% to $72.75.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,818.30/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.1877.