European markets were higher Tuesday as investor confidence remains robust despite the lack of a clear timetable for interest rate cuts.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.4% in early morning deals, with the vast majority of sectors trading in positive territory. Oil and gas stocks rose 2% led by gains for Britain’s BP, while financial services dipped 0.7%.
BP rose 6% on plans to boost shareholder returns even after reporting a sharp drop in full-year profits aligned with lower oil prices. Meanwhile, UBS fell 2.5% despite narrowly beating fourth-quarter earnings expectations and announcing that it would recommence share buybacks.
Regional markets closed slightly lower Monday as investors digested the latest comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in which he said the central bank would likely move at a considerably slower pace on rate cuts than the market expects.
Overnight, China and Hong Kong stocks jumped Tuesday as authorities in the world’s second-largest economy took measures to arrest a recent sell-off in its equities, while most Asia-Pacific markets declined.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures hovered near the flatline overnight following a sell-off spurred by higher bond yields and worries that the Fed may not cut rates as much as Wall Street had hoped.