European shares rose on Wednesday as energy supply worries eased following a report that Russian gas supplies would resume as scheduled, while Italian shares were volatile as Prime Minister Mario Draghi addressed the parliament.
Italy’s MIB index was last down 0.2%, after gaining as much as 0.7% earlier in the session. Draghi said he was prepared to stay on as Italian prime minister if the parties in his broad coalition threw their weight back behind him.
A vote on his speech is expected after market closes at 1730 GMT.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella urged Draghi to reconsider his resignation tendered last week after the populist 5-Star coalition boycotted a confidence vote, sending the MIB index to November 2020 lows.
Political instability and change will put more pressure on the financial sector and Italian bonds, said Ed Kevis, global equities fund manager at Aviva Investors.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2% in volatile trade, with some downbeat earnings pressuring gains.
Shares of chipmaker ASML Holding and Volvo Car fell 1.7% and 3.6%, respectively, on bleak outlook.
Second-quarter earnings are expected to increase 22.1% from a year ago, with a chunk of upbeat earnings expected from the energy sector.
As many as 58% of the STOXX 600 companies that have reported so far this earnings season have topped estimates, according to Refinitiv.
The STOXX 600 will rise for a fourth session, if gains hold. Russian gas flows to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline were seen restarting on time this week, according to sources, easing some energy supply worries.
Focus on Thursday will be on the European Central Bank, with sources saying a larger-than-signalled 50 basis points interest rate hike could be discussed in the meeting.
Worries that policy tightening by central banks could tip economies into recession amid soaring inflation and the Russia-Ukraine war have knocked risk appetite this year, pulling the STOXX 600 down about 14% from its all-time high hit in January.
Topping the STOXX 600 on Wednesday was German power firm Uniper, which rose 10.5% after a report said details of its bail-out could be discussed with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday.