Euro­pean stocks down af­ter their first monthly gain in three

Malta Independent - - FINANCIAL -

On Thurs­day, Euro­pean stocks fell, fol­low­ing their first monthly gain in three, ahead of Sun­day’s Ital­ian ref­er­en­dum.

The Stoxx Europe 600 In­dex fell 0.5% at 11.10am in Lon­don. While the bench­mark rose with en­ergy shares on the OPEC agree­ment reached on Wed­nes­day, it’s still on track for a weekly decline. Italy’s vote on con­sti­tu­tional re­form is among a num­ber of politi­cal and eco­nomic events traders are pre­par­ing for in De­cem­ber. Also due are data on Amer­i­can pay­rolls to­mor­row and cen­tral-bank meet­ings in Europe and the US later this month.

Traders as­sess­ing what a ‘no’ vote on Sun­day means for Italy’s politi­cal sta­bil­ity and its bank­ing cri­sis aren’t tak­ing any chances. Fol­low­ing sur­prise vic­to­ries for the Brexit cam­paign and for Don­ald Trump in the US elec­tion, they are pay­ing the most in more than two years to hedge against swings in the FTSE MIB In­dex rel­a­tive to the Euro Stoxx 50 In­dex. The Ital­ian bench­mark was lit­tle changed fol­low­ing a monthly decline.

Ex­porters were among the big­gest con­trib­u­tors to de­clines in the Stoxx 600 on Thurs­day, while min­ers and oil-re­lated shares ad­vanced. A gauge track­ing en­ergy stocks headed for its big­gest two­day rally since Septem­ber.

The Stoxx 600 climbed 0.9% in Novem­ber on spec­u­la­tion Trump will in­crease fis­cal spend­ing, spurring eco­nomic growth. The respite hasn’t been enough to stave off the first an­nual decline for the bench­mark since the peak of the sov­er­eign-debt cri­sis in 2011. It’s down 7% this year.

Asian stocks rose as an OPEC deal to cut oil pro­duc­tion sparked a rally in eq­ui­ties from China to Ja­pan. The MSCI Asia Pacific In­dex rose 0.6% to 136.54 as of 5.10pm in Tokyo. The Nikkei 225 Stock Av­er­age in­creased 1.1%, ex­tend­ing gains to the high­est level since the 30 De­cem­ber.

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