By Peter Nurse
Investing.com - European stock markets are expected to open marginally higher, boosted by generally positive corporate earnings, although gains are likely to be limited on raised geopolitical concerns.
It’s another busy day on the corporate front, and the results have largely been impressive, especially considering the difficult underlying conditions.
Societe Generale (EPA: SOGN ) reported a smaller-than-expected loss in the second quarter as the French bank absorbed a 3.3-billion-euro hit following the sale of its Russia unit, helped by buoyant activity across retail and investment banking.
Siemens (NS: SIEM ) Healthineers (ETR: SHLG ) stuck with its outlook for the 2022 financial year as supply-chain headwinds and COVID-19 lockdowns pushed some of the medical device maker’s sales into the next quarters.
However, gains are likely to be limited Wednesday as investors fret over U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, a move that threatens to further dent Sino-U.S. relations and ramp up political tensions in Asia.
Beijing claims the island as part of its territory and strongly opposed the visit, given that Pelosi is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the island in 25 years.
Oil prices stabilized Wednesday ahead of a key meeting of OPEC+ producers to discuss future output, rebounding after an early fall following a surprise rise in U.S. inventories.
Data from the industry body American Petroleum Institute , released on Tuesday, showed U.S. oil stocks rose by around 2.2 million barrels last, up from a fall of about 4 million barrels in the previous week.
This climb could point to a weakening of demand in the world’s largest consumer, and the official government inventory figures , due later on Wednesday, will also be studied carefully.
However, the major focus Wednesday will be on a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, set to begin later in the day.
The group had recently rolled back pandemic-era cuts to oil supply, and is now expected to keep production steady as recession fears grow, particularly with most members struggling to hit their current production targets.
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