Monday 11 December 2017

Europe stocks extend their record on Draghi comments

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Getty Images
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Getty Images

European stocks rose with commodity shares after Mario Draghi said quantitative easing will continue until there's sustained improvement in inflation.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.6pc to 414.33 in afternoon trade in London, with gauges of miners and energy shares rising at least 1.8pc. The Stoxx 600 has surged 21pc this year, with a weaker euro helping exporters, as the ECB began quantitative easing.

ECB President Draghi said the central bank's monetary policy is helping the region's economic recovery.

While inflation may be very low or negative in the following months, it will pick up later this year, he said. The central bank earlier held key interest rates at record lows, matching economists' forecasts.

"Draghi confirmed there are signs that show the measures implemented are effective," said John Plassard, vice president at Mirabaud Securities in Geneva.

"The declines in oil and the euro helped. On the other hand, inflation should remain low or negative in the coming months. He's confirming that QE is still necessary, so that should help the equity market."

In Dublin, the ISEQ was at a new six-year high as heavyweigths such as CRH and Aryzta advanced along with UTV. Smurfit Kappa fell more than 3pc as the paper maker appeared to rule out reports that it is in takeover talks.

Anglo American and Glencore added more than 1.6pc in London, pushing miners to the best performance among 19 industry groups.

Tullow jumped 5.6pc after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded the shares and said mergers and acquisitions will drive the energy industry. Royal Dutch Shell and Total rose at least 1.7pc as oil climbed for a fifth day.

Some stocks were active on corporate news. AstraZeneca rose 1.5pc after US advisers said the cardiovascular risk of diabetes drugs made by the company and Takeda Pharmaceutical is acceptable. Hennes & Mauritz advanced 1.6pc after the clothing retailer reported March sales that beat analyst projections in SME Direkt survey.

Alcatel-Lucent tumbled 12pc after Nokia agreed to buy it in a deal that valued the French company at less than its last closing price. Nokia rose 0.7pc.

Sika slid 3.8pc after a shareholder debate over the founding family's plans to sell it to Saint-Gobain against the wishes of the management and some other investors.

The Greek ASE Index slid 2.4pc for the worst performance among western-European markets, with National Bank of Greece and Alpha Bank falling more than 5.4pc. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said no one expects a solution for Greece at the next meeting of euro-area leaders.

The Greeks are struggling to win aid from creditors, while resisting further austerity.

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