4:48 AM, Feb 9, 2017 — European equity benchmarks were trading higher on Thursday morning as oil prices advanced and financial services stocks rallied on on the heels of better-than-expected earnings for several companies.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures, the main US oil benchmark, was 0.9% higher at $52.80 per barrel while Brent crude, the international gauge, was up by the same amount at $55.61 per barrel at the time of writing. These extended Wednesday’s gains of 0.3% and 0.1% for WTI and Brent crude, respectively, and came despite government data showing on Wednesday that US stockpiles of oil rose for the fifth consecutive week last week.
In equities, financial services providers Hargreaves Lansdown, Schroders and Barclays were 1.3%, 0.8% and 0.6% higher, respectively, on London’s FTSE 100 Index while British Land,a real estate company, was up by 1.2%. On Frankfurt’s DAX, pharmaceutical and chemical company Bayer was 2.2% higher, followed by exchange organization Deutsche Boerse, up by 0.9% and Henkel, a consumer goods and chemical company, 0.7% higher.
And, on Paris’ CAC-40, financial services companies Societe Generale and AXA were up by 2.0% and 0.3%, respectively, while health care company Sanofi was 1.4% higher. Societe Generale’s share price movement came after it posted better-than-expected results for its fourth quarter, with net banking income worth 6.13 billion euros ($6.56 billion), up 1.3% from the prior-year period and also ahead of the mean estimate of analysts polled by Capital IQ for 6.09 billion euros.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 Index was 0.26% higher, London’s FTSE 100 Index was up by 0.10%, Frankfurt’s DAX was up by 0.21% and Paris’ CAC-40 was 0.43% higher at the time of writing.