Brent Steady as Positive PMI Data Overpowers Political Scandal
Brent crude oil held steadily above $116 on Wednesday morning after fears that the eurozone's political problems would derail the region's recent recovery were overshadowed by positive data which suggested the global economy was on the mend.
The commodity traded at $116.26 on Wednesday morning.
Political uncertainty in two of the weakest eurozone countries threatened to impede the region's recent momentum earlier in the week when both Spain and Italy released political news that shook investors' confidence.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was accused of being a part of an illegal payment scandal, causing his opponents to call for his resignation. If Rajoy resigned, many believe the political turmoil would undo much of the country's steps to progress.
In Italy, controversial candidate and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi showed promise in the polls leading up to the country's elections, set for the end of the month. Berlusconi's previous term as Prime Minister ended disastrously, causing investors to worry about his reelection.
However, pressure from the political scandals was overpowered by positive data from the eurozone; which showed that the region's recovery was still on track. Europe's business activity data suggested that the eurozone economy was still on mend and calmed the market's nerves.
According to CNBC, Markit's Eurozone Composite PMI data was at its highest level in 10 months. Eurozone PMI rose from 47.2 in December to 48.6 in January, suggesting the region's economic health was improving.
The figures still settled below 50, which indicated contraction rather than growth; but a steady increase over the past three months has provided an encouraging outlook.
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