LONDON (Reuters) – Robust oil and mining stocks drove European shares up on Wednesday as investors shrugged off a weaker session in Asia amid rising tensions between the United States and China.
The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> and eurozone STOXX <.STOXXE> were both up 0.2 percent by 0726 GMT, despite sharp falls in Asian stocks after U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States is taking a “tough stance” with China on trade.
Oil stocks <.SXEP> rose 1.2 percent after crude prices climbed thanks to falling U.S. crude inventories, while miners <.SXPP> climbed 1 percent.
Individual stocks posted big moves triggered by results and M&A speculation.
Dutch biotech firm Galapagos <GLPG.AS> soared 16.2 percent to the top of the STOXX after positive trial results for its filgotinib drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
British energy provider SSE <SSE.L> sank 8.5 percent after it warned first-half profit would halve compared with last year, calling its financial performance “disappointing and regrettable”.
Peer Centrica <CNA.L> also fell 3.1 percent.
Shares in Zara owner Inditex <ITX.MC> meanwhile rose 2 percent to the top of Spain’s IBEX <.IBEX> after the fashion retailer said it expected profit margin growth in the second half.
Salvatore Ferragamo <SFER.MI> topped Italy’s FTSEMIB <.FTMIB> with a 4.3 percent rise, after traders cited rumours about a potential M&A deal.
The family that controls the fashion group is not interested in selling its stake, a spokeswoman for the group said.
Hexpol <HPOLb.ST> shares rose 3.9 percent after the Swedish chemicals firm said it acquired U.S. rubber compounder Kirkhill Rubber.
Broker research also moved some stocks. German utility E.ON <EONGn.DE> fell 3.5 percent to the bottom of the DAX after Morgan Stanley analysts cut their target price on the stock.
(Reporting by Helen Reid, editing by Louise Heavens)