European Stock Markets Recover
European stock markets rebounded Tuesday, with traders brushing off a slump in German investor confidence, although concerns lingered over U.S. President Donald Trump's economic agenda and geopolitical crises.
Indices had begun the week lower, with share prices pressured in recent sessions also by the terror attacks in Spain as investors sought haven investments such as the yen and gold.
"The shakedown in European equity markets yesterday has encouraged bargain-hunting," said CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden.
In late morning deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 0.7 percent compared with the close Monday, as gains for miners offset a 61-percent plunge in the share price of subprime lender Provident Financial.
"Shares in Provident Financial plummeted... after the company issued its second profit warning in two months," explained Madden.
"The poor re-organization of its debt-collecting division was to blame for the profit warning. The stock price dropped to its lowest level since 2010."
The share price collapsed also as the company suspended dividend payments and announced the immediate resignation of chief executive Peter Crook.
Elsewhere, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index held up well, gaining 0.6 percent, as a monthly survey showed that confidence among German investors plunged in August.
The ZEW institute's closely-watched barometer fell to 10.0 points in August from 17.5 in July, well short of the 15.0 points predicted by analysts surveyed by data company Factset.
"The very significant fall in business expectations reflects nervousness about the future path of growth in (Europe's largest economy) Germany," ZEW chief Achim Wambach said in a statement.
In Asia on Tuesday, stock markets rose ahead of a closely watched meeting of central bankers later in the week.
Equities have been struggling in recent weeks due to the continuing standoff between the United States and North Korea, which had been compounded by Thursday's terror attack in Barcelona.
Meanwhile Trump's woes have fueled speculation he will struggle to push through his market-friendly economy-boosting policies that fanned a global market rally in the months after his November election.
The loss of top adviser Steve Bannon last week and talk that a leading member of his finance team could also leave have added to his problems.
"My sense is that the outlook for the U.S., and thus the economy and the Fed, is clouded for many traders and investors because of the uncertainty around the Trump presidency and its agenda," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader.
However, investors mostly moved back into buying mode Tuesday, sending Hong Kong 0.9-percent higher. Sydney closed up 0.4 percent, Singapore rose 0.6 percent and Seoul ended up 0.4 percent. Shanghai added 0.1 percent.
There were also gains in Taipei but Tokyo ended 0.1-percent off.
All eyes are also on the Jackson Hole symposium in Wyoming at the end of the week, which brings together the world's top central bank chiefs.
- Key figures around 0930 GMT -
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.7 percent at 7,370.50 points
Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.6 percent at 12,137
Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 5,104.10
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.4 percent at 3,436
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.1 percent at 19,383.84 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.9 percent at 27,401.67 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.1 percent at 3,290.23 (close)
New York - Dow: UP 0.1 percent at 21,703.75 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1767 from $1.1815 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2845 from $1.2899
Dollar/yen: UP at 109.24 yen from 108.97 yen
Oil - Brent North Sea: UP 48 cents at $52.14 per barrel
Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 40 cents at $47.77