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LONDON: European stocks rebounded Wednesday while oil sank and gold spiked amid stubborn global trade war fears, dealers said.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index added 0.9 percent at the half-way mark in a choppy trading week.

Eurozone indices also bristled higher, with the Paris CAC 40 and Frankfurt's DAX 30 each winning 1.4 percent.

Analysts were however quick to question whether this week's equity gains in Europe were just a "dead cat bounce" after last week's fierce selloff that extended into the start of the week.

"We are seeing a bit of a rebound in early European trade on Wednesday... as markets take a breather from the recent sell-off," said analyst Craig Erlam at trading firm Oanda.

"It is too early to even try and associate this with any form of optimism given the events of the last week, while the size of the rebound compared to the days before gives it more an appearance of a dead cat bounce than anything else.

"There has been a lot to digest and I wonder whether investors are simply taking a step back and doing just that," added Erlam.

Shares had plunged last week after US President Donald Trump said he would impose 10 percent tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods starting September 1.

Commodities in focus

Wednesday's investor focus meanwhile flicked to the fast-moving commodities sphere.

World oil prices sank to multi-month lows on demand fears linked to the Beijing-Washington trade war saga.

London Brent oil slid to its lowest level since early January, while New York crude touched a trough last witnessed in mid-June.

"It is concerns about demand in connection with the trade conflict that are putting pressure on prices," noted Commerzbank analysts in a research note to clients.

"Demand is not sufficiently weak to justify the current price performance," they added.

Yet gold prices struck a six-month pinnacle at $1,491.47 per ounce, with the precious metal benefitting from its status as a haven investment.

Gold, which is not far from the psychological level of $1,500, has experienced an influx of demand as risk-averse investors seek to protect their cash from economic turmoil.

"We see the ongoing steep rise in the gold price as an expression of the high risk aversion among market participants," added Commerzbank analysts.

"Gold is quite clearly still in demand as a safe haven in the current market environment."

Asia loses more ground

Elsewhere, Asian stocks mostly extended their losses despite Wall Street registering strong gains.

The losses came despite a gain of more than one percent for US indices as Wall Street recovered from a multi-session losing streak that saw the Dow hit its lowest level this year.

Asian equities had tumbled Monday after Beijing allowed the yuan to slide sharply against the dollar following Trump's announcement late last week.

The yuan's slump fuelled speculation that Beijing was devaluing the currency to support exporters and offset the tariffs threat, infuriating Washington.

Key figures around 1100 GMT

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.9 percent at 7,237.52 points

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.4 percent at 11,730.57

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.4 percent at 5,312.22

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.4 percent at 3,338.69

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.3 percent at 20,516.56 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.1 percent at 25,997.03 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.3 percent at 2,768.68 (close)

New York - Dow: UP 1.2 percent at 26,029.52 (close)

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2136 from $1.2171 at 2100 GMT

Euro/pound: UP at 92.15 pence from 92.01 pence

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1182 from $1.1199

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 106.23 yen from 106.47 yen

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.5 percent at $58.65 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.2 percent at $53.54

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2019