Commodity producers push Europe lower
On Friday commodity producers dragged down European equities as Mario Draghi indicated the region’s economy still needs stimulus.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.3 percent at 11:13 a.m. in London, trimming its weekly gain to 0.7 percent. The European Central Bank president said the recovery isn’t strong enough yet and the current level of monetary support is key. Miners and energy producers declined with commodities, while bond proxies such as utilities and telecom companies dropped as global bonds headed for their biggest two-week slide in at least 26 years.
While European equities are up for a second weeks, the market has been hit by large intraday swings. The Stoxx 600 has alternated between gains and losses during market sessions for nine straight days, its longest streak in two years. After the initial rally that followed Donald Trump’s presidential win, the gauge has failed to keep its momentum. Among stocks moving on corporate news, UniCredit SpA fell 1.6 percent after saying it will announce the results of a strategic review on Dec. 13 that may include a share sale and further cost-cutting measures. LafargeHolcim Ltd. declined 3.4 percent after cutting its earnings and cash flow targets for 2018.
Asian stocks fell, with the regional gauge heading for a fourth weekly decline, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled the U.S. central bank is close to raising interest rates. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index retreated 0.5 percent to 134.12 as of 4:01 p.m. in Hong Kong, taking its loss this week to 0.9 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average entered a bull market, while the Topix index closed more than five points short. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose for the first time in three days, the Shanghai Composite Index dropped and the Jakarta Composite Index led declines in Southeast Asia.