Skip to main content

European stocks shrugged-off global political tensions as investors shifted focus to corporate earnings, lifting benchmarks around the region and helping turn U.S. stock futures into the green.

The Europe-wide Stoxx Europe 600 Index was marked 0.5% higher at 383.04 points by 10:15 BST while U.S. equity futures indicated a 26point gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the opening bell on Wall Street later in the session.

Germany's DAX performance index was the standout gainer, rising 57 points, or 0.46%, thanks in part to a solid advance for Daimler AG (DDAIY)  , which rose 1.26% to the top of the Frankfurt market after the luxury carmaker reported better-than-expected first quarter profits thanks to surging Mercedes sales.

Daimler's gains helped boost European automakers in both France and Germany, with the Stoxx 600 Automobiles & Parts index rising 1.03% to 553.54 points

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

Britain's FTSE 100 added 20 points, or 0.4%, in the opening two hours of trading despite a big 3.5% fall for Tesco's (TSCDY)  , which posted solid first-quarter earnings that were overshadowed by its proposed takeover of food distributor Booker (BOKGY) and regulatory fines linked to an accounting scandal.

Gold prices were little-changed in early in European trading after the bullion touched a five-month high in Asia as investors piled into safe-haven assets around the world amid rising geopolitical tensions.

Spot gold was marked 0.06% lower at $1,273.66 per ounce after reaching a five-month high of $1,279.80 in Asia dealing amid a retreat from risk assets such as stocks and corporate bonds.

Gold mining stocks were also lower, with Randgold Resources (GOLD) - Get Barrick Gold Corporation Report falling around 1% and Fresnillo Plc (FNLPF) slipping 0.67%. Randgold's 10.66% advance over the past three months, however, has nearly doubled that of spot gold prices while Fresnillo's 15.82% rise is nearly three times higher than the bullion's gain over the same period.

Gold's rise mimicked safe-haven flows in overnight Asia trading, where benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries yields fell to 2.28% and the yen reached a five-month high of 1.0946 against a modestly weaker greenback. The yen's gains kept a lid on any equity enthusiasm and pushed the Nikkei 225 1% lower into the close of trading to a four-month low of 18,522.61 points. The region-wide MSCI Asia ex-Japan index, however, benefited from a late session rally to close the day with a 0.53% gain.

Currency markets were active outside of the yen flows, as well, with the dollar index, a measure of the greenback's strength against a basket of global currencies, falling around 0.06% to 100.47. A weaker dollar helped oil markets add to recent gains, with WTI futures for April delivery rising 0.5% from Tuesday's close to $53.66 while Brent contracts for the same month, the global benchmark, added 0.56% to $56.55.