FTSE recoups losses
London's FTSE 100 and European stocks gained ground after a positive session in AsiaGetty

European markets were on the front foot on Wednesday 13 January, extending the previous session's rally and eyeing a second consecutive day of gains after a turbulent start to the new year as oil prices staged a solid recovery.

Midway through the session, London's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX were both up 1.12%, while the Pan European Stoxx 600 Index and France's CAC 40 gained 1.35% and 1.48% respectively.

On the corporate front, the rebound in oil prices boosted commodity-related stocks, with Glencore and Rio Tinto among the five top risers on the FTSE 100, while Sainsbury's edged lower after reporting Christmas sales fell 0.4% year-on-year.

European stocks took the cue from their Asian counterparts, which enjoyed a positive session for the first time in 2016, with all the main benchmarks apart from the Shanghai Composite Index ending the day comfortably in the black.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Index and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 2.88% and 1.13% respectively but mainland China's main index tumbled 2.42%, after some disappointing trade data.

Exports in the world's second-largest economy declined for the sixth consecutive month in December 2015, sliding 1.4% year-on-year in dollar-denominated terms, while imports declined 7.6%, resulting in a trade surplus of $60.09bn (£41.6bn, €55.5bn) for the month.

"These improvements do appear to suggest that while the economy is slowing things may not be nearly as bad as markets had been fretting about even if Chinese stock markets don't appear to be basking in the improvement that much," said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

Investors were also buoyed by a steady rebound in oil prices, which halted the recent slump and moved above the $31 (£21.5) a barrel threshold, with both benchmarks gaining 2.4%. As of 11.29 GMT, Brent crude was trading at $31.63 (£21.9) a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate was trading at $31.20 (£21.6) a barrel.

The recovery in crude prices came despite recent warnings issued by Standard Chartered warning and RBS suggesting oil prices could fall to between $10-$16 a barrel.

Meanwhile, Fereidun Fesharaki, the Iranian chairman of Facts Global Energy said last week that oil prices could fall to $25 (£17) a barrel within two months as Iran is expected to begin increasing its oil production soon, following the removal of international sanctions.

"A great escape by oil from a test of $30 is also helping sentiment with hopes that declines may be over, despite brokers competing for the most bearish of targets below $20," said Michael Van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.

"[However], do we really have proof of a China recovery, or a solution to commodity supply gluts, notably oil? A bounce this may be, but multi-month downtrends can't be ignored."