By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – European stock markets traded higher Thursday, helped by strong gains from Credit Suisse after the embattled lender shored up its liquidity position ahead of the latest European Central Bank policy-setting meeting.
At 05:15 ET (09:15 GMT), the in Germany traded 0.4% higher, the in France climbed 0.4% and the in the UK rose 0.5%.
Credit Suisse (SIX:) stock leaped over 20% early Thursday, dragging the entire banking sector higher, after the Swiss lender secured a CHF 50 billion ($1 = CHF 0.9297) support line from the Swiss National Bank, a move it described as ” decisive action to pre-emptively strengthen its liquidity”.
The bank’s shares had plummeted to a record low on Wednesday as its main investor, Saudi National Bank, said it was unable to provide more funding to the lender, which has struggled with hefty customer outflows after a string of scandals in recent years.
In a statement overnight, the SNB and regulator Finma had asserted that Credit Suisse met all the required standards for capital and liquidity that apply to systemically important banks.
The spotlight is now firmly on the , which holds its latest policy-setting meeting later in the session.
The ECB had previously signaled the likelihood of another increase of 50 basis points as underlying Eurozone inflation remained elevated, but the recent banking turmoil, with three US banks collapsing, most notably Silicon Valley Bank, could prompt the policy makers to opt for a more cautious status.
The market now sees a 25 basis point hike as the most likely outcome later Thursday, a dramatic repricing from the near certainty of a 50 bp hike at the start of the week.
The ECB President is sure to be asked at the subsequent press conference how the central bank can balance efforts to deliver price stability while safeguarding financial stability.
In corporate news, away from the banking sector, Deliveroo (LON:) stock fell 3% after the food delivery service reported lower-than-expected annual results and warned of an uncertain trading environment in 2023.
Holcim (SIX:) stock climbed 1.2% after the Swiss building materials company said it has acquired HM Factory, a Polish concrete supplier for an undisclosed sum.
Oil prices traded higher Thursday, rebounding from 15-month lows as the financial lifeline to Credit Suisse helped boost risk sentiment, diluting concerns that a full-blown banking crisis would stymie global economic activity.
By 05:15 ET, futures traded 0.2% higher at $67.75 a barrel, while the contract rose 0.5% to $74.03.
Both the benchmarks have slumped around 10% this week, falling to their lowest levels since December 2021.
Additionally, it fell 0.4% to $1,924.50/oz, while trading 0.3% higher at 1.0610.