European stocks trade higher as oil prices jump – CNBC

6 months ago Comments Off on European stocks trade higher as oil prices jump – CNBC

European markets are being buoyed by a rebound in oil markets on Thursday. Oil prices jumped by more than one percent in early trading on Thursday as a huge wildfire in Canada disrupted its oil sands production, while escalating fighting in Libya threatened the North African nation’s output, Reuters reported.

International benchmark Brent crude futures were trading at $45.43 per barrel at 0800 a.m. London time, up 1.95 percent from their last close.

Stocks in the oil and gas sector rallied too. Shares in Repsol were sharply higher despite reporting a 43 percent fall in net income for the first quarter of 2016.

In Asia, meanwhile, markets were lower on Thursday in the wake of a reading on China’s economy which showed growth in the services sector moderated last month.

China Caixin services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in at 51.8 for April, continuing to show expansion, but marking a moderation from 52.2 in March. A reading above 50 indicates activity is growing while one below that level suggests a contraction.

Following the data, mainland Chinese markets were lower to flat, with the Shanghai composite down 0.27 percent and Shenzhen composite effectively unchanged. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index shed 0.35 percent.

In other data news, the U.K.’s economic growth could stall to just 0.1 percent in the second quarter of the year, down from the 0.4 percent seen in the first quarter, according to financial data company Markit, driven by uncertainty over the June referendum in which the British public will decide if the country will remain a member of the European Union.

Britain’s April services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) hit 52.3, the lowest since February 2013 and down from the previous month’s reading of 53.7.

European stocks trade higher as oil prices jump – CNBC