European shares rebound as commodity stocks recover
LONDON Dec 9 (Reuters) - European shares bounced back up on Wednesday from a sharp sell-off in the previous session, helped by a stabilisation in commodity stocks as energy and metals prices recovered.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had fallen 1.8 percent to its lowest closing level since late October on Tuesday, rose 0.3 percent while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index advanced 0.4 percent.
Oil prices climbed back up on Wednesday as U.S. crude inventories dipped, while Japan posted rising machinery orders, and this helped shares in oil firms such as Total and BP to rise.
"The general reaction to the move back up in the oil price is helping to stabilise the stock markets," said Hantec Markets analyst Richard Perry.
Copper prices also held their ground which in turn gave a lift to mining stocks which on Tuesday had dropped to their lowest level since March 2009.
Ashtead was the best-performing stock on the European STOXX 600 index, climbing 7.2 percent after the industrial equipment hire group raised its profit expectations. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Alistair Smout)
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