European Shares Rebound as Commodity Stocks Recover

LONDON (Reuters) -

European shares bounced back up on Wednesday from a sharp sell-off in the previous session, helped by a stabilization in commodity stocks as energy and metals prices recovered.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had fallen 1.8 percent to its lowest closing level since late October on Tuesday, rose 0.3 percent, while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index advanced 0.4 percent.

Oil prices climbed back up on Wednesday as U.S. crude inventories dipped, while Japan posted rising machinery orders, which helped shares in oil firms such as Total and BP to rise.

“The general reaction to the move back up in the oil price is helping to stabilize the stock markets,” said Hantec Markets analyst Richard Perry.

Copper prices also held their ground, which in turn gave a lift to mining stocks, which on Tuesday had dropped to their lowest level since March 2009.

Ashtead was the best-performing stock on the European STOXX 600 index, climbing 7.2 percent after the industrial equipment hire group raised its profit expectations.