Russia

European Markets Close Higher as Ukraine-Russia Conflict Continues; Stoxx 600 Up Over 1%

Kharkiv ukraine
State Emergency Service of Ukraine | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
  • European stocks closed higher on Wednesday as the geopolitical crisis between Russia and Ukraine continues.
  • The war between the neighboring countries in Europe is leading to a surge in oil prices with international benchmark Brent crude futures hitting their highest in seven years.
  • Earnings in Europe came from Atos and Signify with data releases including the euro zone's inflation rate in February and Germany's latest unemployment figures for February.

LONDON — European stocks closed higher on Wednesday as the geopolitical crisis between Russia and Ukraine continues.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally ended up around 1.1% after dropping 0.9% at the open. Oil and gas stocks led the gains, up over 4% on surging crude prices.

The choppy trade in Europe came after a mixed close in Asia-Pacific markets, with shares in the region dented by concerns over the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The war between the neighboring countries in Europe is leading to a surge in oil prices, with international benchmark Brent crude futures jumping to their highest level in seven years. U.S. crude futures also saw big gains, rising around 3% to $106.63 per barrel.

That's despite the the International Energy Agency saying Tuesday it will release 60 million barrels of oil from global reserves, in a bid to ease the current supply constraint.

European stocks closed firmly lower on Tuesday as a significant Russian military convoy headed toward Ukraine's capital Kyiv. A Russian airstrike hit Kyiv's main television tower on Monday afternoon, killing five people. Meanwhile, Russian forces continue to attack Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city.

Earnings in Europe came from Atos and Signify with data releases including the euro zone's inflation rate in February and Germany's latest unemployment figures for February.

In terms of individual share price movement, Neste shares jumped more than 14% after the Finnish engineering company announced a joint venture with U.S. oil company Marathon to produce renewable fuels globally.

Toward the bottom of the European blue chip index, Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson fell more than 9% as it juggles an unpopular acquisition and the fallout from a 2019 investigation which found compliance breaches in the company's operations in Iraq.

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— CNBC's Eustance Huang contributed to this market report.

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