Euro­pean shares sta­ble

Malta Independent - - FINANCIAL -

Euro­pean shares stead­ied on Wed­nes­day af­ter ris­ing in the pre­vi­ous two ses­sions, with ba­sic re­sources com­pa­nies un­der­pin­ning the broader mar­ket fol­low­ing a rise in met­als prices.

The pan-Euro­pean STOXX 600 in­dex was trad­ing flat in per­cent­age terms. How­ever, Bri­tain's com­mod­ity-heavy FTSE 100 in­dex climbed 0.7 per­cent.

The Euro­pean ba­sic re­sources in­dex rose 1.4 per­cent to its high­est level since mid-2015 af­ter base and pre­cious met­als prices ad­vanced. Shares in BHP Bil­li­ton, Fres­nillo, Rand­gold Re­sources and Rio Tinto were 1.1 to 2.9 per­cent higher.

The Euro­pean min­ing sec­tor has surged more than 12 per­cent this month alone, tak­ing to­tal gains for this year to 60 per­cent, on grow­ing ex­pec­ta­tions that U.S. Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump's pledge to in­vest heav­ily in in­fras­truc­ture projects would boost de­mand for raw ma­te­ri­als.

How­ever, Ital­ian banks were on the back foot, with the sec­tor in­dex down 2.2 per­cent on lin­ger­ing con­cerns that the out­come of a ref­er­en­dum vote on con­sti­tu­tional re­forms on Dec. 4 could top­ple Mat­teo Renzi's re­formist gov­ern­ment.

The Euro­pean bank­ing in­dex was down 0.6 per­cent, with shares in Banco Popo­lare, B P Mi­lano and Unicredit fall­ing 2.8 to 5.0 per­cent. In­vestors' fo­cus will be on Bri­tain's au­tumn bud­get up­date, due at 1230 GMT.

Asian stocks ad­vanced for a third day as raw-ma­te­rial pro­duc­ers surged and an ex­tended eq­ui­ties rally in U.S. mar­kets boosted op­ti­mism about com­pany prof­its. The MSCI Asia Pa­cific Ex­clud­ing Ja­pan In­dex rose 0.7 per­cent in Hong Kong. A gauge of ma­te­ri­als shares jumped as in­dus­trial met­als traded near the high­est lev­els in more than a year on bets of a re­cov­ery in global de­mand. BHP Bil­li­ton Ltd. led Aus­tralian stocks to the high­est level since Au­gust.

The U.S. eq­ui­ties rally con­tin­ued with the Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age top­ping 19,000 for the first time Tues­day. Tokyo mar­kets were shut Wed­nes­day for a hol­i­day.

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