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Europe edges higher amid earnings; autos gain on China tariff cut; Fischer rallies 6%

Sam Meredith
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 edged up around 0.1 percent during early afternoon deals, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory.
  • Autos led the gains, up around 0.8 percent after China's Finance Ministry said it would cut the import duty on passenger cars to 15 percent from current levels of 25 percent.
  • Oil prices rose amid concerns over Venezuela's crude output following a disputed presidential vote.

European stocks were slightly higher Tuesday afternoon, amid an easing of pressure in Italian markets.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 edged up around 0.1 percent during early afternoon deals, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

Italian government bond yields came off 14-month highs on Tuesday, after several days of heavy selling amid concerns about a potential new governing coalition. The proposed link-up of anti-establishment parties had lifted Rome's 10-year yields up nearly 70 points since the start of the month.

Autos were among those to lead the gains, up around 0.8 percent after China's Finance Ministry said it would cut the import duty on passenger cars to 15 percent from current levels of 25 percent. The announcement, which came Tuesday, also said tariffs on some automotive parts would fall to 6 percent. Schaeffler, Fiat Chrysler and Michelin were all trading more than 1.3 percent higher on the news.

Health care stocks were the worst performers, off around 0.3 percent amid earnings news. UDG Healthcare slumped to the bottom of the index after it reported weaker-than-expected first-half results. Shares of the London-listed stock were trading over 5 percent lower.

Looking at individual stocks, Fischer surged towards the top of the European benchmark after UBS upgraded its stock recommendation to a "buy." Its shares were almost 7 percent higher in mid-morning deals.

Oil prices edge higher 

In Asia, equities stumbled as a strong dollar appeared to sap demand from emerging market assets. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, was little changed from the previous session on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, surging oil prices ignited market participants' concerns about a flare-up in inflation and faster-than-expected U.S. interest rate increases.

Oil prices rose amid concerns over Venezuela's crude output following a disputed presidential vote. Brent crude traded at around $79.67 on Tuesday morning, up around 0.5 percent, while WTI stood at $72.54, around 0.4 percent higher.



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