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Europe Markets: Oil gains boost energy stocks in Europe, but markets tread water along with U.S. stock futures

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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.

The Stoxx Europe 600
SXXP,
+0.21%

inched up 0.1% to 450.67, while the French CAC 40
PX1,
+0.19%

was flat along with the German DAX
DAX,
+0.13%
.
The FTSE 100 index
UKX,
+0.20%

rose 0.4%.

Shares of heavily weighted energy companies were among the gainers. Stock in TotalEnergy
TOT,
+2.29%

FP,
+1.82%
,
formerly known as Total, was up 1.6%. In London, shares of Royal Dutch Shell
RDSA,
+1.16%

RDS.A,
+2.54%

climbed 1.9% and BP
BP,
+3.01%

BP,
+1.00%

rose 0.7%.

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
CL.1,
+0.72%

and Brent crude prices
BRN00,
+0.85%

were moving above those record levels on Wednesday.

U.S. equity futures
ES00,
-0.03%

YM00,
+0.08%

NQ00,
-0.14%

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
DJIA,
+0.13%

rose for a fourth straight day, but the S&P 500
SPX,
-0.05%

and Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
-0.09%

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
IP,
+7.26%

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
WIZZ,
-0.47%

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.

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