European stocks are shooting higher on Wednesday morning after a great trading session in Asia, where shares were boosted by the Bank of Japan’s decision to tweak its monetary stimulus programmes and leave interest rates unchanged at -0.1%.
As a result of that decision, the Nikkei 225 — Japan’s blue-chip index — closed higher by almost 2% at 16,807 points, a gain of 1.91%. European markets opened soon after the Asian close, and took solace from the Nikkei’s performance. Stocks across the continent are in positive territory after around an hour of trading, with most bourses picking up by around 1%.
The biggest gainer so far on the day is Italy’s FTSE MIB, which has bounced back from a big fall on Wednesday to gain 1.51% at 16,452. Banking stocks are the big driver of gains on the day. All five of the top stocks on the index are currently financial institutions. Here’s the chart:
In Britain, the FTSE 100 is up 0.62%, making it one of the weaker bourses in Europe so far. Despite this, should the FTSE told on to its gains, it will have closed higher than the open every day for the last four. The FTSE’s best performers are Barclays, up 3.44%, and house builder Persimmon, up 2.77%. Here’s the chart:
The picture across Europe is broadly similar, with most bourses gaining between 0.5% and 1.5%. Here’s the scoreboard as of 9:05 a.m. BST (4:05 a.m. ET):
Elsewhere in the markets, oil is higher by around 2%. Brent crude, the international benchmark, is 1.7% up to $46.66, while US WTI crude has gained 2.11% to trade at $44.98.
Gold, which has lost substantial ground in recent weeks, is up by roughly 0.4% to trade at $1,323 per ounce.