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UK and European stocks had reversed earlier gains to
trade lower on Wednesday as investors mulled the latest Halifax house price
data and a big M&A deal in the housebuilding sector.
U.S. stocks opened higher, as investors digested another
slate of quarterly results halfway through the corporate earnings season.
Oil prices ticked higher on Wednesday, as growth in U.S. oil
production is expected to remain largely steady through 2025, easing worries of
In corporate new, shares of Norwegian oil and gas company
Equinor fell after it said it would reduce cash payouts to shareholders on the
back of a normalization in energy prices last year.
It comes as it posted a slightly smaller-than-expected drop
in operating profit in its fourth-quarter results. Equinor’s adjusted earnings
before tax for the October-December period fell to $8.68 billion from $17
billion the year prior.