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European stocks back to earth after Draghi bombshell

Published Jun 19, 2019 04:29AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
 
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By Amy Caren Daniel and Medha Singh

(Reuters) - European stock markets fell back marginally on Wednesday after posting their best performance in five months a day earlier thanks to a policy speech from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi that flagged a potential return to bond-buying and lower interest rates.

Draghi's speech in Portugal sank the euro and drove major euro zone bond yields back below zero, slashing effective market borrowing costs, giving a boost to companies worried by sagging growth and driving the pan-European STOXX 600 index almost 2% higher.

It dipped 0.2% early compared to Tuesday's close by 0755 GMT, although interest rate sensitive banking stocks outperformed with a 0.60% rise.

That all followed some minimal gains overnight in Asia after news that China and the United States are rekindling trade talks ahead of a meeting next week between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at a G20 summit in Japan.

"Keep in mind that Tuesday's gains were phenomenal and now traders are going to be sitting on their hands and waiting to see what the Federal Reserve does," said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets in UK.

"Overall the market mood has been lifted so we're seeing a banks push higher as well."

Concern over impact of the protracted trade war between Washington and Beijing on growth drove European shares about 6% lower in May, their worst performance in more than two years.

Since then, expectations of policy easing by the ECB and U.S. Federal Reserve has helped the STOXX 600 recoup most of those losses and helped drive a 4% gain this month. The Fed concludes its June meeting after European markets close.

Corporate newsflow saw Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group gain 4.1% after the British lender pledged to make an additional 50 million pounds ($62.75 million) in savings from its takeover of rival Virgin Money (LON:VM).

Also keeping markets afloat , sparking hopes that the tensions between the two sides would abate.

The positive trade news lifted chipmakers, with Germany's Siltronic recovering 4% after falling sharply on Tuesday. Auto stocks gained 0.25%, supported by gains in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Pirelli & C SpA.

The food and beverage, healthcare and utilities sectors posted the biggest declines.

Belgian food retailer Colruyt tumbled 9%, and was the biggest faller on the STOXX, after the group warned about of a deteriorating economic climate in France and Belgium.

Medical technology supplier Carl Zeiss slid 4%, after Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) Merrill began coverage of its shares with an "underperform" rating.

European stocks back to earth after Draghi bombshell
 

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