European stocks traded higher Wednesday after Wall Street delivered its second best day of 2019 trading on Tuesday.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 rose 0.4% during the morning session, with technology stocks making a 1.5% gain while banks were one of only a handful of sector to fall into the red, slipping 0.4%.
European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX
On Wednesday, stocks in the Asia-Pacific region climbed, building upon gains seen in the U.S. on Tuesday, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared more than 500 points and other stocks finished the session on a high. The uptick in trading came on the back of comments from the Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, who signaled that the Fed was open to easing monetary policy.
On Tuesday, the Fed Chair stated that the central bank would be keeping an eye on current developments in the economy, and would do what it must do, in order to “sustain the expansion. ” Powell did, however, note that the central bank could not determine when or how global trade issues would be settled.
Meanwhile, trade turmoil continues to shake up market sentiment. During his state visit to the U.K., President Donald Trump reiterated his recent tariff threat on Mexico, telling reporters that his new policy would “take effect next week. “
GOP senators have however, indicated that they do not necessarily agree with the 5 percent levy on all Mexican imports. Consequently, trade tensions and negotiations are expected to remain a hot topic for the foreseeable future.
Back in Europe, Trump stated Tuesday that the U.S. was “committed to a phenomenal trade deal “ with the U.K., as the nation gets ready to leave the European Union, adding that there was “tremendous potential” for this.
As Trump concludes his visit on Wednesday, the U.S. leader is expected to travel to France.
Looking at economic data, composite and services PMI figures for the euro area showed the U.K. economy was close to stagnation due to uncertainty over Brexit, while Germany’s services sector provided growth momentum for its cooling economy. French business activity strengthened in May.
In terms of individual stocks, Norsk Hydro jumped 4% during the morning session after the company’s first-quarter earnings beat expectations, while Dassault Aviation shares traded 4.8% higher after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to buy.
Hargreaves Lansdown fell to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 with a 4% decline amid concerns over its hefty stake in the Woodford Equity Income fund, which was suspended Monday following a run of poor performance and investor withdrawals.