European Shares Rally As Russia, Ukraine Continue Peace Talks

stockmarkets jan23 16mar22 lt

European stocks rallied on Wednesday to hold near two-week highs amid hopes of progress in Russia-Ukraine peace talks even as Russia escalated its bombardment of the Ukrainian capital and launched new assaults on the port city of Mariupol.

Investors were also tracking a sharp rebound in mainland China and Hong Kong shares after China promised to roll out more economic stimulus.

Shares of Alibaba Group Holdings and Tencent Holdings saw a reprieve from recent heavy selling today after China's government tried to reassure jittery investors by promising support for its struggling real estate industry, internet companies and entrepreneurs.

The pan European Stoxx 600 jumped 2.2 percent to 444.71 ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's interest rate decision later in the day. Markets are pricing in a 25 bps hike due to concerns about growth and inflation.

The German DAX climbed 2.3 percent, France's CAC 40 index was up 2.4 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 1 percent.

Sweden-based private equity fund EQT soared 8 percent after it reached an agreement to acquire Baring Private Equity Asia.

Spanish clothing company Inditex fell about 1 percent after unveiling its 2021 results.

Dutch tech investor Prosus, which has stake in China's Tencent, jumped 19 percent as a selloff in Chinese tech shares eased.

BMW advanced 2.6 percent despite the German carmaker lowering its profit margin expectations for its automotive segment for 2022.

Miners Glencore and Antofagasta rallied around 3 percent after China's stimulus pledge.

Gold mining firm Centamin slumped 7 percent after its 2021 profit halved as a result of lower production and higher costs for the year.

IG Group shares fell nearly 3 percent. The online trading platform said it expects full-year revenue to "moderately exceed" market expectations on strong trading volumes.

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