The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up around 0.3 percent during early morning deals, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory.
Europe’s banking index was among the top performers Wednesday morning, supported by Italy’s notoriously fragile lenders. Banco BPM, Ubi Banca and Intesa Sanpaolo all surged higher amid reports the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Matteo Salvini, could be prepared to review the government’s 2019 budget.
The European Commission is scheduled to take the first step toward disciplining Rome over its contentious draft fiscal proposal on Wednesday. But, La Stampa daily reported Salvini may be open to reviewing certain aspects of the budget. Italy’s FTSE MIB index jumped more than 1 percent on the news.
Looking at individual stocks, hospital chain NMC Health rose to the top of the European benchmark during early morning deals. It comes after J.P. Morgan raised its stock recommendation to “overweight” from “neutral” Wednesday morning. Shares were over 7.5 percent higher.
Meanwhile, British defense contractor Babcock took a one-off charge of £120 million ($153.7 million) on Wednesday. It comes as the company plans to reshape its business, while it also warned that revenue from its nuclear decommissioning division would likely fall more than anticipated. Shares tumbled more than 11 percent shortly after the opening bell.