European shares are higher in the early afternoon Wednesday, reversing earlier losses as trade war tensions remain heightened. Energy stocks are broadly higher, however, as oil prices rise following the US’ request for all countries to stop importing Iranian oil.
By 1340 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was 0.81% higher, while the EUROSTOXX 50 had gained 1.02%. Meanwhile, regional bourse shad also recovered from morning falls. The German DAX was up 1.08%, the French CAC was 1.16% in the green and the Spanish IBEX rose 0.43%.
Investor sentiment fluctuates
While European stock markets opened broadly lower Wednesday, following global declines elsewhere, investors appear to have shaken off some fears and moved in to make strategic purchases. That has resulted in a positive afternoon session so far.
In addition, the US administration issued a request to all countries to end their Iranian oil imports by November. In a telephone briefing with the press, a US Department of State Official confirmed it was seeking agreement on accepting zero oil imports from Iran, from all countries.
This move helped exert some upward pressure on the price of oil and supported energy stocks.
Total shares rose 1.57% to €52.56, BP shares gained 2.38% to trade at £576.80, Eni shares were 2.81% higher at €15.87 and Royal Dutch Shell shares were up 1.83% at £2,703.
Other stock movers
Aside from the gains in the energy sector, other stocks have taken a hit or made gains in relation to company specific news.
Rubis shares slid 4.38% to €53.55 following a downgrade from Berenberg analysts who cut its price target for the French oil and gas storage business to €62 from €67.
BASF shares, meanwhile, moved higher as the EU said it was opening an in-depth probe into its planned acquisition of Solvay’s nylon business. Shares in the German chemical company gained 0.77% to trade at €81.52.