- Commodity stocks outperform
- German consumer morale seen at historic low in May
- High prices bolster Mercedes earnings
- Russia halts gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria
European shares steadied on Wednesday on the back of commodity stocks, while Russian energy giant Gazprom halting gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland and a plunge in German consumer morale kept gains in check.
The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.2%, reversing opening losses that took it to a fresh six-week low.
Gazprom halted gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland for failing to pay for gas in roubles in the Kremlin's toughest response so far to crippling sanctions from the West over the Ukraine conflict.
"Gas supplies are at the forefront today ... and the move shows how dramatically Russia can take action to limit supplies," Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.
Miners and oil stocks extended gains for a second straight day, while defensive sectors such as utilities and food and beverage stocks were the biggest decliners.
Earnings spurred big moves in stocks, with Deutsche Bank down 5.3% after warning that the Russia-Ukraine conflict could hurt full-year results, even as it posted a better-than-expected jump in quarterly profit.
Meanwhile, Lloyds Banking Group gained 2.1% following a quarterly profit beat as Britain's largest mortgage lender largely shrugged off the country's worsening cost of living crisis.
A survey showed German consumer morale is set to plunge to a historic low in May as the conflict in Ukraine leads to soaring costs and dashes hopes of a post-pandemic recovery.
Concerns around slowing economic growth, inflation and the events in Ukraine, coupled with the prospect of aggressive monetary policy tightening by major central banks have sapped risk appetite, putting the benchmark STOXX 600 index on track to end the month 3% lower despite some upeat earnings.
Mercedes-Benz rose 3.6% after posting higher earnings as high prices made up for supply chain troubles.