Europe markets opened sharply higher Wednesday, and U.S. stock futures were mostly mixed, after Asian stocks -- led by China -- ended the day’s trade in the green. However, shares of German automaker Volkswagen plunged nearly 10 percent after the company admitted to finding “irregularities” in the stated carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption data of up to 800,000 vehicles.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was trading up about 1 percent, buoyed by dovish statements from the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. Speaking at an event in Frankfurt Tuesday, Draghi indicated that the ECB is “willing and able to use all the instruments available,” to boost growth in the eurozone. The ECB is now widely expected to announce further stimulus measures in December.
“Given the turnaround in the ECB’s view on deposit rate cuts, we expect a 10 basis point cut together with a strong signal that further deposit cuts are on the table,” analysts at Denmark’s Danske Bank reportedly said. “The main reason we expect the ECB to deliver a deposit rate cut is the strong signal from Draghi, that this is being considered. He has more or less cornered the hawkish ECB members again and pre-announced additional easing.”
London’s FTSE 100 was also trading up 1 percent, partly helped by the performance of mining giant Glencore Plc -- whose shares rose over 6 percent after the company said it made “significant progress” in reducing its net debt. France’s CAC 40 also rose 0.9 percent. Germany’s DAX, however, was dragged down by the slump in Volkswagen shares, and was trading down 0.2 percent.
U.S. stock futures on the Nasdaq, Dow Jones and S&P 500 indexes were all up between 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent.
Earlier, Chinese shares surged after an announcement from the People's Bank of China -- the country's central bank -- that authorities planned to open a trading link between the Shenzhen and Hong Kong indexes by year-end. The Shanghai Composite Index ended the day up 4.3 percent, while the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index closed over 5 percent higher. However, the article on the People’s Bank of China website that triggered the surge was later amended to say that it was a text of a speech given by Governor Zhou Xiaochuan in May.
In Japan, investor appetite picked up on the debut of Japan Post -- the world's biggest IPO this year. Shares in the parent company Japan Post Holdings Co Ltd closed up 25.7 percent, Japan Post Bank closed up 15 percent, and Japan Post insurance soared 56 percent.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 ended the day up 1.3 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi Composite rose 0.2 percent. India’s Sensex witnessed a day of volatile trading, and ended the day down 0.1 percent.