European shares inch lower

Dhaka,  Wed,  16 August 2017
Published : 17 Mar 2017, 20:29:33
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European shares inch lower

European shares inch lower
European shares inched lower on Friday, led down by export-oriented carmakers and utility stocks, but banks outperformed after an ECB policymaker rekindled talk of a possible rate hike.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.1 per cent, erasing parts of the gains made in the previous session but remaining on track to end a week with a gain.

But banks, whose margins benefits from higher rates, bucked the weaker trend on Friday. 

The euro zone bank index rose to its highest level in more than 15 months, up more than 1.0 per cent, with Germany's Commerzbank leading the surge, while Europe's broader bank index added 0.4 per cent, with gains capped by Nordea Bank going ex dividend.

Meanwhile, euro zone money markets showed around an 80 per cent chance that the ECB could lift its deposit rate at its December meeting, up from 60 per cent a week ago.

Utilities fell 0.7 per cent, the second biggest sectoral decliner in Europe after autos, which fell 0.8 per cent.

Biggest drag on utilities was Italy's Enel, whose shares fell 1.8 per cent in spite of a proposed increase in its annual dividend.

Top fallers in the auto sector were German carmakers Volkswagen, Porsche and BMW, down between 1.2 and 1.6 per cent.

Elsewhere, Tullow Oil plunged 15 per cent, the top faller on the STOXX 600 index, after the British oil services company announced a 607 million pound share sale to reduce its debt.

But London-focused housebuilder Berkeley Group rose 5.9 per cent to their highest level since Britain voted to leave the European Union.

German airport operator Fraport rose 2.5 per cent, also boosted by a well-received 2017 guidance, according to Reuters.
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