European Shares Edge Higher Led By Commodity Stocks

European stocks traded higher on Wednesday as stronger commodity prices on the back of a weaker dollar boosted mining and energy stocks.

The upside remained capped as investors awaited U.S. consumer inflation data as well as Fed minutes from the March meeting for clues on the monetary path of the central bank.

U.S. core inflation is forecast to ease both on a monthly and yearly basis in March.

Closer home, French central bank chief Francois Villeroy de Galhau on Tuesday said inflation in the euro zone is at risk of getting entrenched above 2 percent and that underlying inflation readings and the effectiveness of policy transmission will be the key factors in the next decisions.

Commentary from ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos is awaited later in the day.

The pan-European STOXX 600 edged up 0.2 percent to 462.71 after rising 0.6 percent in the previous session.

The German DAX, France’s CAC 40 index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 were up 0.2 percent, 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Truck maker AB Volvo soared 7.6 percent after reporting record first-quarter profits on higher revenue and margins.

Zurich Insurance plummeted 5.4 percent to snap a four-day winning streak.

Merck slumped 6.5 percent. The German pharmaceutical company said the FDA has placed a partial clinical hold on the initiation of new patients on evobrutinib and patients with less than 70 days exposure to study medication in the U.S.

Miners extended gains from the previous session on China stimulus hopes. Antofagasta rose 0.8 percent and Glencore added 1.3 percent.

Oil & gas firm BP Plc gained 0.8 percent, Shell advanced 1.4 percent and TotalEnergies added 0.9 percent after crude prices jumped nearly 2 percent overnight.

Petrofac plunged more than 16 percent. The oilfield services provider said it expects to report a full year Group EBIT loss of about US$150 million to US$170 million for 2022, including an EBIT loss of about US$240 million to US$260 million in Engineering & Construction.

French luxury group LVMH was marginally higher ahead of an update on its first-quarter sales.

Deutsche Bank shares rose 1.4 percent. The German bank is winding down its remaining software technology operations in Moscow and St Petersburg to end two decades of reliance on Russian IT expertise, the Financial Times reported.

Car manufacturer Mercedes Benz gained 0.7 percent after sales rose moderately in the first quarter of this year.

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