Thin trad­ing in Europe be­fore Italy ref­er­en­dum and OPEC meet­ing

Malta Independent - - FINANCIAL -

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.

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