Thin trading in Europe before Italy referendum and OPEC meeting
On Tuesday European stocks hovered near their lowest level in more than a week as trading remained thin before this weekend’s Italian referendum and investors assessed dimming prospects for an OPEC deal.
A gauge of banks rose for the first time in five days, with Italy’s UBI Banca SpA and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA among the biggest advancers. That also helped lift the FTSE MIB Index from its lowest level in two months. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s office denied news reports that he may step down even if he wins a December 4 vote on constitutional reform, an event that has sparked concerns this month about political and economic instability there.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost less than 0.1 percent at 10:25 a.m. in London, after rising as much as 0.4 percent and sliding 0.5 percent. The volume of shares changing hands was 18 percent lower than the 30day average, in keeping with the thin trading seen in recent sessions. Energy producers followed crude lower as OPEC officials remained split on a deal to cut output ahead of Wednesday’s meeting.
Declines in Italian lenders dragged the Stoxx 600 to its biggest slump in more than three weeks. Following unexpected victories for Donald Trump in the U.S. and the U.K.’s campaign to leave the European Union, investors are on edge about Italy’s referendum. The FTSE MIB has declined 4.6 percent in November, even as the European gauge has risen.
Banks and construction shares, which climbed in the aftermath of Trump’s win on bets his administration would increase fiscal spending, also advanced on Tuesday. Miners failed to hold up a similar rally: After surging 12 percent since the U.S. election, Stoxx 600 commodity producers fell for the second time in three days.