Euro­pean stocks keep fluc­tu­at­ing

Malta Independent - - FINANCIAL -

On Mon­day Euro­pean stocks erased ear­lier de­clines, post­ing their long­est streak of in­tra­day fluc­tu­a­tions in more than three years, as in­vestors re­mained skep­ti­cal ahead of a busy po­lit­i­cal cal­en­dar.

The Stoxx Europe 600 In­dex rose 0.1 per­cent at 11:45 a.m. in Lon­don, eras­ing an ear­lier slide of as much as 0.8 per­cent, amid gains in en­ergy pro­duc­ers and min­ers as com­modi­ties climbed. That marks a 10th day of the gauge al­ter­nat­ing be­tween in­tra­day ad­vances and losses, its long­est streak since May 2013.

Euro­pean stocks have been trad­ing in a tight range most of the year and re­main below their level from be­fore the U.K. se­ces­sion ref­er­en­dum. They’ve al­most com­pletely erased the rally that fol­lowed Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion, which boosted spec­u­la­tion for in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing. In­vestors are turn­ing their fo­cus to the re­gion’s po­lit­i­cal risks ahead, while the re­cent rise in govern­ment-bond yields is mak­ing equities less at­trac­tive, according to Peter Dixon, an economist at Com­merzbank AG in Lon­don.

On Mon­day, as the vol­ume of Stoxx 600 shares chang­ing hands was al­most a fifth lower than the 30-day av­er­age, health-care com­pa­nies fell the most. Among stocks moving on cor­po­rate news, Mi­tie Group Plc, which pro­vides of­fice clean­ers, tum­bled 9.4 per­cent af­ter say­ing it sees earn­ings below a pre­vi­ous forecast. Essen­tra Plc sank 19 per­cent af­ter the U.K. maker of plas­tic caps cut its op­er­at­ing profit forecast.

It was a busy week­end for pol­i­tics on the con­ti­nent with Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel an­nounc­ing she will seek a fourth term in of­fice and for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Fran­cois Fil­lon knock­ing for­mer Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Sarkozy out of the race for the French pres­i­dency.

While bash­ing Bri­tain may do well on the cam­paign trail, May could have a friend in Poland, whose govern­ment is con­cerned in­flam­ma­tory rhetoric from the rest of the EU could mean looser co­op­er­a­tion with the U.K. af­ter­wards.

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