Strong re­sults push Europe higher

Malta Independent - - FINANCIAL -

On Thurs­day the dol­lar fell and stocks rose as strong cor­po­rate re­sults in Europe helped off­set in­vestor nerves ahead of the loom­ing start to French elec­tions.

Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank of­fi­cials sig­naled that they’re get­ting close to the point when they’ll start pre­par­ing for the end of an era of un­prece­dented stim­u­lus.

In the last round of speeches be­fore a week-long quiet pe­riod ahead of the next pol­icy meet­ing, Ex­ec­u­tive Board mem­bers Benoit Coeure and Peter Praet agreed that the euro-area re­cov­ery has be­come broad-based, while diverg­ing on whether the risks to that out­look are still skewed to the down­side.

The 25-mem­ber Gov­ern­ing Coun­cil will de­bate the pre­cise for­mu­la­tion of its stance on the econ­omy when it de­cides on in­ter­est rates and stim­u­lus set­tings on April 27. But with a po­ten­tially ex­plo­sive elec­tion in France com­ing this week­end, that may still prove too soon for any change in its cur­rently ul­tra-cau­tious tone.

The Stoxx Europe 600 In­dex ad­vanced 0.2 per­cent at 10:16 a.m. in Lon­don. S&P 500 fu­tures rose 0.3 per­cent. The un­der­ly­ing gauge slid 0.2 per­cent on Wed­nes­day.

In­vestors are fac­ing a stern test of nerves as a se­ries of elec­tions in Europe and ten­sions around North Korea and Syria ratchet up mar­ket risks. U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s tra­vails try­ing to im­ple­ment his fis­cal agenda are also cloud­ing the growth pic­ture, while the Fed­eral Re­serve’s plan for mon­e­tary tight­en­ing looks in­creas­ingly un­sure.

Ja­pan’s Topix in­dex added 0.1 per­cent. The Shanghai Com­pos­ite was lit­tle changed, af­ter four days of losses brought it to the low­est level since the 8 Fe­bru­ary.

West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate oil in­creased 0.9 per­cent to $50.87 a bar­rel, af­ter tum­bling 3.8 per­cent Wed­nes­day when a re­port showed U.S. gaso­line sup­plies in­creased for the first time since Fe­bru­ary, while crude out­put keeps ris­ing. Gold fell 0.1 per­cent to $1,278.79 an ounce.

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