Sun, Jun 29, 2014 - Page 15 News List

STOXX 600 posts weekly drop, with stocks mostly flat

Bloomberg

European stocks were little changed this week, as the benchmark index posted its the biggest weekly loss since early April and investors weighed data showing that as investors weighed the crisis in Iraq and mixed US data.

Mediaset SpA gained 4 percent after Exane BNP Paribas upgraded its recommendation on the Italian broadcaster’s stock, while Ophir Energy PLCA fell 5.4 percent after UBS AG downgraded its recommendation for the oil and gas explorer’s shares.

Also falling this week was Imagination Technologies Group PLC, which dropped 5.8 percent after Intel Corp sold a 9.3 percent stake in the UK chip technology designer.

The STOXX Europe 600 Index added less than 0.1 percent to finish at 341.97 and post a 1.8 percent weekly decline.

“Investors are awaiting the next market-moving catalyst amid low volumes and volatility,” said Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown PLC in London. “The US has provided some mixed messages this week.”

The volume of shares changing hands in STOXX 600-listed companies was 11 percent lower than the 30-day average for this time of the day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

National benchmark indices gained 11 of the 18 Western European markets on Friday, with France’s CAC 40 falling less than 0.1 percent, Germany’s DAX rising 0.1 percent and the UK’s FTSE 100 climbing 0.3 percent.

Data showed that consumer confidence in the US rose last month, beating estimates and negating a preliminary report that signaled a drop.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of sentiment came in at 82.5, compared with economists’ projection for 82 and the earlier estimate of 81.2, economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted after the figure dropped last month.

James Bullard, president of the US Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, said the world’s largest economy is improving enough to withstand an increase in short-term interest rates next year.

He predicted the pace of economic growth will accelerate to 3 percent this year after an unexpectedly deep first-quarter contraction.

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