European shares move higher in afternoon trade

European shares were trading in positive territory, Wednesday afternoon, spurred on by retailers and oil stocks. The first day of MIFID II also appears to be well received by investors.

European shares move higher in afternoon trade

European shares were trading in positive territory, Wednesday afternoon, spurred on by retailers and oil stocks. The first day of MIFID II also appears to be well received by investors.

By 1430 BST, both the EUROSTOXX 600 and the EUROSTOXX 50 had gained 0.24%. Regional bourses were also in the green. The German DAX was up 0.50%, the French CAC rose 0.48% and the Spanish IBEX was 0.23% higher.

Investors like retailers, oil stocks

European investors seemed more upbeat Wednesday, reversing the tone of the first day of trading in the New Year Tuesday.

A buoyant trading update from UK high street retailer Next helped support the indices, while that positivity also spread to Marks and Spencer. Next shares gained 7% to hit £4,814.00, while M&S shares rose 1.20% to trade at £319.90.

And, in response to the near three-year high price of Brent crude oil at $67.06, oil majors are also in favour, Wednesday. Royal Dutch Shell shares climbed 0.96% to £2,5240.00, while Total shares gained 1.12% to €46.49.

The positive sentiment wasn’t tied to just those two sectors, however.

Shares in furniture and discount retail owner Steinhoff, surged 22.87% to hit €0.45. Meanwhile, shares in semiconductor maker AMS AG, rose 4.17% to €92.14.

Another detail lifting sentiment was the stronger dollar which made for a weaker euro, therefore making the price of European stocks seem a little less expensive.

Stock fallers

Although overall investor sentiment was more buoyant Wednesday, there were still some fallers on the European indices.

Deutsche Bank shares declined 0.64% to €15.86 following news in a German newspaper that some 30 investors were suing the bank for €740 million on claims they were paid to little for their Postbank shares in 2010.

Other fallers include:

  • Allianz, down 0.40% to €191.92.
  • Banco Santander off 0.29% to €5.44.
  • Fresenius shares 0.59% lower at €63.98.

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