Energy demand pushes oil higher

U.S. stocks were mixed after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Telecoms, Utilities and Healthcare sectors led shares higher while losses in the Consumer Services, Technology and Industrials sectors led shares lower. At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.43% to hit a new 1-month high, while the S&P 500 index gained 0.37%, and the NASDAQ Composite index lost 0.05%. The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 1.34% to 15.49 a new 1-month low. US 10-year yields closed 2bps up at 1.6567%.

European shares closed at six-week highs on Wednesday as strong results from Nestle boosted food company stocks, helping outweigh losses after a clutch of disappointing earnings including luxury group Kering and chipmaker ASML. The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended 0.3% higher, with oil stocks also aiding gains as crude prices recovered slightly. German stocks were mixed after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Utilities, Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare and Retail sectors led shares higher while losses in the Transportation & Logistics, Financial Services and Technology sectors led shares lower. At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX gained 0.05%, while the MDAX index declined 0.14%, and the TecDAX index climbed 0.20%. At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 rose 0.54%, while the SBF 120 index gained 0.45%

Asia Pacific stocks were mixed on Thursday morning. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 1.87%, while South Korea’s KOSPI was down 0.19%. In Australia, the ASX 200 was just up at 0.02%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s CSI were lower from opening levels as their sessions wound down as investors continued to monitor China Evergrande’s debt woes; the HANG SENG was 0.75% down while the CSI was up 0.07%. The developer terminated talks to sell its property-management arm, Evergrande Property Services Group Ltd., to Hopson Development Holdings Ltd. and asked for its shares to resume trading on Thursday.

The Russian stock market, which opened mixed, ended Wednesday in the green; the Moscow Exchange index increased by 0.26% – to 4287.52 points while the RTS index added 0.25% to 1904.77 points.

Oil prices rose to finish Wednesday’s session with a new five-day winning streak after U.S. crude stockpiles unexpectedly fell in the latest week, giving energy bulls yet another reason to bid up markets in the space. U.S. crude’s West Texas Intermediate benchmark settled up 98 cents, or 1.2%, at $83.42 per barrel while London-traded Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil, finished Wednesday’s trade up 74 cents, or 0.9%, at $85.82.