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European Shares Suffer Fresh Commodities-Related Blow | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Europe Stocks Market

 Europe Stocks Market

Europe Stocks Market

London – With weaker commodities prices and confrontational comments from another Fed official adding pressure on the broader stock market, European equities slipped for a fourth straight session on Thursday.

A chorus of officials accompanied by St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, aimed at spotting the lights on the risk of at least two rate hikes this year, with the first expectedly as soon as April. Markets suggest only one increase and dealers suspect an arranged attempt by the Fed to shift that thinking.

For instance, shares in Anglo American , Glencore, Rio Tinto and Fresnillo fell 3.9 to 6.2 percent. The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index fell 3.4 percent, the top sectoral decliner, as a firmer dollar made metals costlier for holders of other currencies and dragged down prices of major industrial metals.

Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets said, “Equity markets are moving into the Easter holiday long weekend on a more cautious note, with a stronger dollar following some hawkish Fed comments weighing on the commodities space.”

“Oil prices have also been hit by ever rising U.S. crude inventories, adding to global supply glut concerns.”

Moreover, the STOXX Europe 600 Oil and Gas index also fell 1.8 percent, dragged down by a 1.6 to 2.1 percent drop in shares of Royal Dutch Shell, Total and BP.

Stock markets in Denmark and Norway were already shut on Thursday, while Sweden had a half-day trading. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 1.1 percent on the last trading day of the week, with volumes likely to continue thin ahead of the Easter holidays.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index, down 1.7 percent this week, refell for a second straight week of losses.
Some companies slipped after warning on their outlook. Next dropped 9 percent after the British clothing retailer displayed a 5 percent rise in annual profit, but warned 2016 could be the roughest it has faced since 2008 as it forestalls a more difficult economic environment.

Mid-cap company Renishaw fell more than 11 percent after the British precision engineering company firm cut its full-year revenue and earnings forecasts, citing lack of large orders from the Far East this year.
Shares in Italy’s Banco Popolare and Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM) were volatile after they agreed to merge in a much-anticipated deal to create the country’s third-biggest bank.

Banco Popolare shares were suspended from trading after a rise of 5.9 percent. Popolare di Milano opened more than 4 percent higher, but were last up 0.7 percent.