European stock benchmarks closed higher for a third straight session on Wednesday, helped by a reversal in oil prices.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.89% gained 0.4% to end at 350.74, notching its highest close since early January.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil /zigman2/quotes/209724793/delayed CLK26 0.00% and Brent erased early losses and showed gains after encouraging data on U.S. supplies. Oil prices had been under pressure after Kuwait oil workers called off a three-day strike, which had been seen as keeping oil prices afloat.
Among oil-related stocks, Royal Dutch Shell PLC /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA +0.60% closed up 0.7%, Tullow Oil PLC /zigman2/quotes/205079109/delayed UK:TLW -0.85% rose 5.1% and BP PLC /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP +0.87% gained 0.2%.
Miners also were among the day’s notable gainers, as metals prices advanced. Angle American PLC /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL +3.55% added 5.2%, and Fresnillo PLC /zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed UK:FRES +0.53% moved up by 3.1%.
“The sector enjoys yet another surge thanks to a remarkable shift in positioning in metals futures. Miners are the momentum play once again,” said Chris Beauchamp, senior market analyst at IG, in a note.
Other movers: ARM Holdings PLC closed down 1% even after the chip designer said profit rose 7.6% in the first quarter. Revenue rose 21% at the company, which is a supplier for Apple Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +0.53% iPhone.
“ARM Holdings shares gave up initial gains of over 4% as focus shifted from well-received earnings to general uncertainty surrounding growth of the smartphone market,” said Jasper Lawler, analyst at CMC Markets, in a note.
Economic news: The latest unemployment data for the U.K. painted a mixed picture of the country’s labor market. The unemployment rate for the three months to February came in at 5.1%, unchanged from the three months to January, but 0.1 percentage higher than the September to November period.
The data from the Office for National Statistics also showed wage growth, excluding bonuses, held steady at 2.2%. However, the financial sector received smaller bonuses compared with a year earlier, which dragged down overall pay growth to 1.8% from 2.1%.
National indexes: The U.K.’s FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.76% edged up 0.1% to end at 6,410.26, while France’s CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +0.45% added 0.6% to 4,591.92.
Germany’s DAX 30 /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +1.34% rallied 0.7% to finish at 10,421.29.