Europe stocks post mild gains amid earnings; commodities on the rise

Vopak surged after the Dutch oil and chemical storage firm said it was well-placed to significantly improve its core earnings in 2019. The company said this upwardly revised forecast was largely due to its expansion program. Its shares jumped 6.5 percent.

Elsewhere, shares of energy firm Total rose over 1 percent, after it agreed to buy competitor Direct Energie on Wednesday, in a transaction valued at 1.4 billion euros ($1.7 billion). The move could give the firm more ammunition to compete with French energy provider EDF.

Oil and gas was the second top performing sector, up over 1 percent, with crude futures posting sharp gains, supported by a reported decline in U.S. crude inventories and concerns over supply disruptions.

Elsewhere, Britain’s CYBG was the STOXX 600’s worst performer, down 5.5 percent, after the group announced that it had increased provisions, for repaying customers who’ve been mis-sold PPI, by up to £350 million ($498 million).

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