European stocks struggled for gains on Wednesday, with energy companies getting a lift as oil prices hovered at two-year highs. U.S. equity futures were flat as investors continue to wait for jobs data due later this week.
Shares of heavily weighted energy companies were among the gainers. Stock in TotalEnergy
Those gains came as U.S. and global benchmark prices settled at the highest levels in more than two years on Tuesday, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies agreed to keep a plan to gradually lift oil production through July in place. West Texas Intermediate
and Brent crude prices
were moving above those record levels on Wednesday.
U.S. equity futures
were flat, as investors took to the sidelines ahead of data for the rest of this week that will bring important updates on employment. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose for a fourth straight day, but the S&P 500
and Nasdaq Composite
indexes slipped, after U.S. manufacturing data revealed labor shortages and supply bottlenecks.
Worries about inflation and how the Federal Reserve may manage it are simmering in the background ahead of an expected strong rise in U.S. hiring for May. Elsewhere, eurozone producer price data for April is ahead.
“Wednesday could be a day where the markets tread water, saving their energies for the U.S. jobs focused sessions on Thursday and Friday, which bring the unemployment claims and latest nonfarm data respectively,” said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, to clients in a note.
Among stocks on the move, shares of Interpump Group
topped the Stoxx 600’s gainers list, rising 7% after the Italian maker of high-pressure water pumps announced the signing of a binding agreement for the purchase of the White Drive Motors & Steering business unit from Denmark-based engineering company Danfoss Group.
Wizz Air shares
fell 2%, after the Central and Eastern European low-cost airline swung to a pretax loss for fiscal 2021, as revenue fell due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on air travel. The company warned that it could see a net loss for fiscal 2022 unless restrictions are removed quickly and permanently.