|09-03-2014, 05:22 AM||#1|
European shares steady ahead of ECB decision
European shares were slightly changed on Tuesday, following a two-day rally amid a fall in major healthcare stocks.
Investors are also playing it safe awaiting any clues on monetary policy from the European Central Bank on Thursday.
Experts believe that markets had already discounted the ECB’s move on new accommodative measures, thus the rise in equities in recent times, which means stocks had little ground to go further.
Dovish comments last month by ECB President Mario Draghi caused European stock markets to rally, with his remarks leading to bets that the ECB is preparing to pump more liquidity into the economy by buying government or corporate bonds.
Sources at the central bank told Reuters last week that new action on Thursday was unlikely but not impossible and that the barrier to such QE (quantitative easing) was still "very high".
- Stoxx 600 lost 0.03 percent or 0.11 points to 342.75
AstraZeneca’s shares fell after the company’s chief executive told Reuters that everything is “back to normal”, despite speculations that Pfizer would make a new bid for the company.
The company fell 0.8%, taking a toll on rivals in the healthcare sector such as Roche and Novartis, which pulled the Healthcare index in the Stoxx Europe 600 0.2% lower.
-The British FTSE 100 advanced 0.06% or 3.86 points to 6829.17
-The French CAC 40 lost 0.03% or 1.40 points to 4378.33
-Frankfurt’s DAX 30 advanced 0.30% or 27.99 points to 9507.02
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