EUROPE MARKETS: Italy Stocks Stand Out In Europe, Where ECB Grabs The Spotlight

Date : 12/13/2018 @ 1:24PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : FTSE 100 (UKX)
Quote : 6964.65  -3.68 (-0.05%) @ 2:39PM
FTSE 100 share price Chart

EUROPE MARKETS: Italy Stocks Stand Out In Europe, Where ECB Grabs The Spotlight

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By Emily Horton

GAM slumps in Switzerland after scrapping dividend

Europe markets traded mixed on Thursday, as investors turned their attention to a European Central Bank meeting and Brexit issues, with optimism over global trade taking a back seat..

How are markets trading?

The Stoxx Europe 600 traded flat at 349.75, after closing up 1.7% on Wednesday.

Germany's DAX 30 inched up 0.1% to 10,945.35, while France's CAC was flat at 4,911.80. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose by 0.3% to 6,902.79 after finishing up 1% on Wednesday in New York.

The day's best performer was Italy's FTSE MIB Italy index , up 0.8% to 19,102.57.

The euro was stronger versus the U.S. dollar, steady at $1.1378, little changed from $1.1370 late Thursday in New York. The British pound rose to $1.2658, up from $1.2628.

What is driving the markets?

The European Central Bank left key rates unchanged (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ecb-affirms-plan-to-stop-bond-buys-at-end-of-month-rates-unchanged-2018-12-13), and said it expects policy to stay at current levels through summer 2019. The bank also affirmed plans to end to its quantitative easing program. Investors will now focus on the press conference and what more President Mario Draghi has to say about future interest-rate hikes (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ecb-will-say-goodbye-to-quantitative-easing-but-when-will-it-hike-rates-2018-12-12). (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ecb-will-say-goodbye-to-quantitative-easing-but-when-will-it-hike-rates-2018-12-12)

British Prime Minister Theresa May survived her leadership challenge (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-prime-minister-theresa-may-survives-confidence-vote-amid-brexit-chaos-2018-12-12), late on Wednesday evening, successfully suppressing a damaging rebellion within her party, but leaving her in a politically weakened state with further questions over Brexit added.

Positive trade talks between the U.S. and China boosted Wall Street trading on Wednesday, but stock futures were struggling to hang onto gains on Thursday.

Italian stock and bonds rose after the government has agreed to trim its budget deficit forecast for next year, which reduces the risk of a clash with the EU. "But this does not spell the end of its fiscal troubles. With the country's economic prospects bleak, government debt still looks unsustainable in the long run," said analysts at Capital Economics, in a note.

What stocks are active?

Among the big gainers, German travel giant TUI AG (TUI1.XE) rose by 6% after the company posted a rise in net profit. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tui-net-profit-up-14-upbeat-on-winter-period-2018-12-13)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tui-net-profit-up-14-upbeat-on-winter-period-2018-12-13)UniCredit SpA (UCG.MI) rose 3%, while Banco Santander SA (SAN.MC) (SAN) gained over 2%.

Security services company G4S PLC (GFS.LN) announced it is considering separating out its Cash Solutions businesses (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/g4s-plc-may-separate-out-g4s-cash-solutions-2018-12-13), leading to a 9% rise.

One of the biggest losers in Europe was the German retailers METRO AG (B4B.XE), which lost 11% after it reported a s (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/metro-earnings-up-but-sales-pull-back-2018-12-13)light drop in overall sales (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/metro-earnings-up-but-sales-pull-back-2018-12-13). (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/metro-earnings-up-but-sales-pull-back-2018-12-13)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/metro-earnings-up-but-sales-pull-back-2018-12-13)Away from the Stoxx Europe 600, Swiss-based GAM Holding AG (GAM.EB) slumped 22% after the asset manager announced a restructuring program and suspended its 2018 dividend (https://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/gam-holding-ag-provides-an-estimate-on-its-2018-results-and-announces-a-comprehensive-restructurin-20181213-00017).

In oil stocks Tullow Oil PLC (TLW.LN) fell by just under 3% and heavyweight BP PLC (BP.LN) was down by 1.5%.

-- Barbara Kollmeyer contributed to this report

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 13, 2018 08:09 ET (13:09 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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