European stocks retreat on weaker commodities

European equities retreated Wednesday from their three-month highs, mirroring losses in Asia, with a fall in oil and metals prices putting pressure on commodities-related stocks.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.3 percent in early trading after closing 1.5 percent higher in the previous session when the index climbed to a three-month high on some encouraging trading updates and firmer commodities.

However, crude oil prices fell back again on Wednesday after Kuwaiti oil workers ended a three-day strike that had cut the nation’s crude output by around half, with worries about an oversupplied market also returning to the fore. Metals prices came under pressure as well.

The European oil and gas and the basic resources indexes fell 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent respectively – the top two sectoral decliners – with shares in Anglo American , Glencore and BP falling 0.5 to 2.3 percent.

However, ARM Holdings rose 2.2 percent after the provider of technology for the iPhone reported a 14 percent rise in first-quarter profit, outperforming a weak semiconductor market as its most advanced chips were used in an increasing number of smartphones.

Source: Reuters