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European Stocks Close Higher Despite Fears Over Gas Supplies, Growth; Deutsche Bank Down 6%

Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images
  • The Stoxx 600 rose 0.6% with nearly all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.
  • There are concerns over the halting of Russian gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria.
  • It was another busy day for earnings in Europe with several banks reporting their latest figures.

LONDON — European stocks closed higher Wednesday despite fears of a slowdown in global economic growth, as traders digested a deluge of earnings.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed up by 0.6% provisionally with nearly all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

Investors are also watching the halting of Russian gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria closely after Gazprom told both countries that it was halting supplies because they had refused to pay for the gas in rubles, as Moscow demanded recently. The move pushed European gas prices higher and the euro lower.

The move also coincides with a sharp rise in tensions between Western allies and Russia as the war in Ukraine continues into a third month.

Earnings season

It was another busy day for earnings in Europe with several banks reporting their latest figures.

Credit Suisse shares were almost 3% lower after the bank reported a net loss for the first quarter of 2022 and announced a management reshuffle, as the Swiss lender struggles with litigation costs and the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine war.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank shares were down around 6% after it reported a net profit of 1.06 billion euros ($1.13 billion) for the first quarter of the year. Shares of Lloyds Banking Group were also a touch lower despite its first-quarter profit beating expectations.

U.S. stocks bounced Wednesday as the market attempted to recover from April's technology-led sell-off a day after the Nasdaq Composite posted a new low for the year.

Heightened tensions over the Russia-Ukraine war persist. On Monday, Russia said that the threat of a nuclear war is very significant, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressing the risks should not be underestimated. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin responded by calling the nuclear war rhetoric "very dangerous and unhelpful."

— CNBC's Ryan Browne and Silvia Amaro contributed reporting to this market report.

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