Business World

Thursday 8 December 2016

European stocks end day little changed

Roxana Zega

Published 02/06/2015 | 02:30

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis - concern is growing that Greece will be unable to strike a deal. Photo: Bloomberg
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis - concern is growing that Greece will be unable to strike a deal. Photo: Bloomberg

European shares were little changed yesterday as investors watched developments in Greek debt talks. Health-care shares rose, while commodity producers fell.

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The Irish Stock Exchange was closed due to the bank holiday.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.2pc to 400.57 at the close of trading, having risen as much as 0.9pc. It extended gains intraday after data showed US manufacturing expanded more in May than forecast, before paring the advance in the final half an hour of trading.

Stocks also climbed earlier after a European Union official said a Greek financing deal is possible by the end of the week. Greece has to make four payments totalling almost €1.6bn to the IMF in June. Before that, the Stoxx 600 trimmed gains as a report showed factory output in the region grew less than initially estimated.

"We're looking at a very volatile period over the next few days with Greek news dominating," said Guillermo Hernandez Sampere, who helps manage about €150m at MPPM EK in Eppstein, Germany. "There's this never-ending Greek story getting in all our heads."

Drugmakers were among the best performers in Stoxx 600 industry groups yesterday, with Roche Holding AG up 1.3pc after positive updates on cancer drugs. Miners fell for a third day, while energy shares followed oil prices lower.

Europe's benchmark gauge slid 1.9pc last week, trimming its monthly advance to 1pc, as concern grew that Greece will fail to strike a deal with its creditors, and that the US economic recovery is faltering. The Stoxx 600 closed 3.4pc away from its April record.

Even amid the uncertainty, Greece's ASE Index posted its first back-to-back monthly gains in more than a year and investors kept pouring money into a fund tracking the shares, sending its market value to a record. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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