European stocks stable as banks slide and miners gain
On Tuesday European stocks were little changed after a rally in commodity producers was tempered by losses in banks.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added less than 0.1 percent at 10:59 a.m. in London, giving up gains of as much as 0.4 percent. A gauge of miners rose toward its highest level since August 2015, with Anglo American Plc and Rio Tinto Group climbing more than 2.5 percent.
Firms in Italy led losses among lenders, with Uni-Credit SpA and UBI Banca SpA sliding at least 4 percent. Trading in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA was halted in Milan after the stock swung from a rise of as much as 27 percent to a decline of 23 percent, after Chief Executive Officer Marco Morelli pledged to begin talks with investors to help raise capital.
Lackluster moves plagued European equities in the past two sessions, after optimism that monetary policy will remain supportive of growth sent the Stoxx 600 to a two-week high.
While ECB President Mario Draghi eased investor concern about its bond-buying program ending too soon, he gave little indication on how officials will extend, adjust or wind down QE that’s set to expire in March. Optimism he will tweak stimulus in ways that will improve bank profitability boosted lenders this month, before today’s retreat. The Stoxx 600 Banks Index fell 0.9 percent from its highest level since May.
Asian stocks climbed after U.S. economic data generated optimism about the health of the world’s largest economy, while Japan’s Topix index rose as the yen weakened against the dollar. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.4 percent as of 4 p.m. in Hong Kong after a U.S. manufacturing gauge climbed to the highest since 2015, boosting bets by traders for a rate hike by December to 71 percent.