- US delays vote on Syria military action
- US wholesale inventories and MBA mortgage data
- UK unemployment rate falls
- Italy to vote on Berlusconi ousting next week
FTSE 100: 0.07%
CAC 40: 0.06%
FTSE MIB: 1.33%
IBEX 35: 0.84%
Stoxx 600: 0.35%
European stocks bounced up after the US delayed a vote on a military strike in Syria.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday night said he will pursue Russia's proposal to have Syria relinquish its chemical weapons to international control.
Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Assad's government welcomed the recommendation.
However, Obama maintained that the US must take action, if needed, in response to the Assad regime's alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians on August 21st.
He said it was "too early to tell whether this offer will succeed", adding that any agreement must verify that Assad keeps its promise.
Craig Erlam, Market Analyst at Alpari Research, said: "The only question now is whether Assad will go along with the proposal, or whether this is, as some suspect, just a tactic to delay the vote in Congress.
"Whichever it is, the markets are liking it. The news that Obama has asked Congress to hold off on voting on military action spurred on gains in US and Asian equities overnight."
Ishaq Siddiqi, Market Strategist at ETX Capital, added that the potential Federal Reserve tapering of stimulus remains the narrative driving price-action.
The Fed will announce whether it determines the economy and jobs market has picked up enough to begin scaling back its $85bn per month in bond purchases at the next policy meeting on September 17th to 18th.
Also in the US, wholesale inventories rose in July by 0.1% after falling 0.1% in June, the Commerce Department revealed, missing the consensus for a 0.3% increase.
A separate report from the Mortgage Bankers' Association showed a 13.5% fall in mortgage applications for the week ending September 6th, a five-week low. The data pointed to signs that rising mortgage rates are having a material impact on the housing market. The average 30-year conforming fixed mortgage rate climbed to 4.80% from 4.73% a week ago.
UK unemployment rate falls
The UK unemployment rate fell to 7.7% in the three months through July from 7.8% in the previous quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It beat expectations for the rate to hold steady and marked the lowest rate since the quarter through November last year, adding to speculation the Bank of
England (BoE) might raise interest rates sooner than anticipated.
BoE Governor, Mark Carney, has vowed that interest rates would remain at a record low of 0.5% as long as the unemployment rate holds above 7%.
The number of people claiming jobless benefits fell by 32,600 in August compared to a revised fall of 36,300 in July, the biggest decline since June 1997.
Economists had forecast a drop of 21,000.
ARM rises on Apple's iPhone reveal
British multinational semiconductor and software design company ARM topped the European risers after Apple unveiled its latest iPhone models, which was seen as a potential earnings boost for the firm.
Telefonica edged higher following reports it was considering an offer to help fellow investors in Telecom Italia sell their stakes in the Italian firm.
Kingfisher declined after the home-improvement retailer said first-half adjusted pre-tax profit fell to miss estimates.
Nokia Oyj advanced after Berenberg Bank raised its recommendation on the Finnish phone maker to 'buy' from 'sell'.
Vivendi SA dropped after its biggest shareholder, Vincent Bollore, who was among candidates to fill the role of Chief Executive Officer, said he isn't seeking a paying position at the French conglomerate.
Campari jumped following reports the alcoholic liquor company opened a new bottling plant in the US.
Brent crude and euro gain
Brent crude futures climbed $0.465 to $111.770 per barrel on the ICE.
The euro rose 0.29% to the 1.3307 US dollar
Italy's 10-year yield premium rose above that of Spain on Wednesday as investors speculated over the future of the ruling coalition amid reports lawmakers will hold a vote on whether to expel Silvio Berlusconi from the Senate following his conviction for tax fraud.
Italian 10-year yields held at 4.55% on the day while Spanish equivalents were down 1 basis point at 4.52%.