Stocks - European Markets Mixed Before Central Bank Decisions

Date | 13-12-2017 - 04:20 PM Article Type | Stock Markets Region | Europe - European markets were mixed on Wednesday, as investors remained cautious ahead of upcoming monetary policy decisions scheduled this week in the U.S., the euro zone and the UK.

The EURO STOXX 50 added 0.12%, France’s CAC 40 inched 0.01% higher, while Germany’s DAX 30 was down 0.03% by 03:35 a.m. ET (07:35 GMT).

The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting later Wednesday and is currently seen tightening two to three times next year, but concerns over tepid inflation could alter the outlook for 2018.

The European Central Bank and the Bank of England were both set to release their policy statements on Thursday.

Financial stocks were mixed. French lenders Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) and BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) fell 0.27% and 0.37%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) and Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) declined 0.64% and 0.24%.

Among peripheral lenders, Unicredit (MI:CRDI) slid 0.34% and Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) advanced 0.41% in Italy, while Spanish banks BBVA (MC:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) gained 0.35% and 0.63% respectively.

Elsewhere, Unibail Rodamco SE (AS:UNBP) erased the previous session's losses and jumped 1.14% after the company said on Tuesday that it agreed to buy Australian-based Westfield Corporation for $24.7 billion.

In London, FTSE 100 inched up 0.06%, helped by Dixons Carphone (LON:DC), whose shares surged 7.78% following news the company is planning an overhaul of its smartphone business.

Tui AG NA (LON:TUIT) added to gains, with shares up 2.20% after the travel operator said it expects a 10% increase in underlying earnings in the current financial year.

Financial stocks were also on the upside, as Barclays (LON:BARC) climbed 0.47% and Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) advanced 0.83%, while HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) rallied 1.52%. The Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) was little changed, with shares dipping only 0.07%.

In the mining sector, stocks broadly higher. Shares in BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) added 0.18% and Anglo American (LON:AAL) gained 0.51%, while Glencore (LON:GLEN) climbed 0.59%.

Meanwhile, Ashtead Group (LON:AHT) was one of the worst performers on the index, with shares down 4.57% after surging in the previous session. The company said on Tuesday that chairman Chris Cole will be stepping down and it also raised its full year guidance as hurricanes in the U.S. increased first half revenues.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady to higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.02% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.04% dip, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.09% rise.

Author: Heng V. Mony
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