European stock markets climbed for the first time in four sessions on Tuesday, supported by earnings reports coming from companies such as Orange SA, pharmaceutical firm Bayer AG, and oil giant BP PLC, to name a few.
Several positive earnings reports across various sectors and countries contributed to this upbeat trading day, with pulp and paper maker UPM-Kymmene Oyj ranking as the top gainer in the Stoxx 600 after jumping 10 percent. It reported a 34 percent surge in operating profit after its decision to sell its Schwedt newsprint mill site.
BP PLC rose to 2.9 percent after reporting fundamental earnings ahead of predictions. This recovery in oil prices was due to a broadly weaker U.S. dollar that helped the energy sector. Gains were capped, however, as countries Saudi Arabia, Iran and Kuwait announced output increases, causing more global supply glut concerns.
French oil and gas major Total SA and Italy’s ENI SpA both edged up 0.48 percent and 0.14 percent respectively. Norway’s Statoil shares, however, slid 0.66 percent lower, opposing the uphill trend.
French lenders Societe Generale and BNP Paribas climbed 0.66 percent and 0.83 percent, while Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank rose 0.56 percent and 0.83 percent. Italian peripheral lenders Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit gained 0.79 percent and 1.56 percent respectively, while Spanish banks Banco Santander and BBVA inched up 0.46 percent and 0.56 percent.
Bayer AG NA jumped 1.05 percent after a reported 15.7 percent increase in core earnings for the first quarter.
Safran saw shares gained 1.20 percent after the engineering company claimed revenues climbed 7.8 percent in the first quarter.
FTSE 100 advanced 0.11 percent, supported by gains in the energy sector in London. Royal Dutch Shell added 0.23 percent in its shares, while rival company BP surged 2.39 percent despite a pretax loss of $865 million in the first quarter of the year.
Barclays inched up 0.01 percent HSBC Holdings dipped 0.01 percent, while the Royal Bank of Scotland rallied 0.08 percent and Lloyds Banking rose 0.71 percent.
Whitbread claimed a 5 percent increase in pretax profit and raised its dividend by 10 percent, sending shares in the hotels and coffee-shop operators up 3.26 percent.
British American Tobacco gained 2.31 percent after revenue rose by 1.7 percent in the three months to 31 March.
While the financial stocks were gradually heading higher, the mining stocks, however, were broadly lower.
Glencore lost 1.24 percent and Rio Tinto dropped 1.30 percent, while Bhp Billiton declined at 1.67 percent and Anglo American tumbled 2.78 percent.
The aforementioned earnings beat analysts’ estimates as the pound rallied to its highest in six weeks against the euro. Investors, meanwhile, evaluated whether they rushed in estimating the predictions of Brexit.
Asian equities cut their losses, as the yen and U.S. Treasuries advanced with the New Zealand dollar before central bank meetings this week. Malaysia’s ringgit toppled after a state-owned investment fund withdrew an interest payment on its bonds. Copper fell for a second day and crude oil traded below $43 a barrel. The colder weather increased demand as natural gas in the U.K. climbed to the highest since mid-January.
The Federal Reserve will have the conclusion of its two-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday and while no change in interest rates is anticipated, investors remain cautious.
According to City of London Markets trader Markus Huber, European equity markets are trading higher on positive business earnings surprises from companies. Ahead of the Fed meeting starting later this day, Huber also added, "Many traders are at least temporarily moving their overall exposure to more neutral from previous negative, consequently closing some of their short positions."