European stock benchmarks moved sharply higher Wednesday as investors responded to dissipating political risks and a seemingly brighter outlook for the U.S. and economies across Europe.
The FTSE 100, which was a laggard among major markets in Europe, had risen by 1.1% to 7,411 shortly ahead of the close. In Frankfurt the DAX index was up by 1.5% to 12,622 while in Paris, the CAC 40 took the Continent's crown as the best performer out of major benchmarks, with a gain of 1.6% just an hour out from the close.
The dissipation of market concerns around pre-election email contact between President Donald Trump's son and a Russian lawyer may have helped ease tension among investors.
However, the drawdown of oil inventories highlighted by the latest data from the American Petroleum Institute and the International Energy Administration, monetary policy talk from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and country-specific news were the biggest drivers of price action in Europe.
A sharp drawdown in commercial crude inventories has helped to lift sentiment around the likely health of the U.S. economy as well as to soothe nerves over the current supply and demand equation in oil markets.
The idea of a seemingly bright economic outlook is further validated by a Federal Open Market Committee that remains unreservedly committed to seeing post-financial crisis monetary policy becoming a thing of the past, with a steady unwind of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet.
In Paris, every stock listed on the blue chip CAC 40 index was higher in the final hours of the session after investors were buoyed by a pledge of tax cuts in the current year from new president Emannuel Macron.
Recent dealmakers Sanofi and Valeo SA were the top gainers although even the laggards of the market notched up decent gains for the session, with Airbus Grop NV (EADSY) , Publicis Groupe SA (PUBGY) and banks Credit Agricole Group (CRARY) and Societe Generale SA (SCGLY) all rising close to 1%.
Burberry reported better than expected sales for the first-quarter, driven by a rebound in Chinese demand, which helped push the shares up by more than 4%.
Mining companies Glencore plc (GLNCF) , Fresnillo plc (FNLPF) and BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) were prominent risers among large caps, alongside Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.B - Get Report) and BP plc (BP - Get Report) .