european stocks diverge on fed earnings
Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
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Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
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As investors digested the Federal Reserve's latest outlook

European stocks diverge on Fed, earnings

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today European stocks diverge on Fed, earnings

Frankfurt's Dax 30 fell 0.3% to 11,623.42 by midday
Hong Kong - AFP

European stock markets diverged and Asia's leading indices closed lower Thursday as investors digested the Federal Reserve's latest outlook and a raft of corporate earnings reports.

Traders looked ahead also to the Bank of England's economic forecasts due Thursday alongside an expected decision to keep its key interest rate unchanged at a record-low 0.25 percent.

All eyes Friday will be on US monthly jobs data.

"Continued dollar weakness, which has resulted in more gains for the pound and the euro versus the greenback, mean that stock markets remain under pressure," said Chris Beauchamp, analyst at IG trading group.

"It is significant that Facebook's good numbers last night have not helped to steady the mood, and neither did the Fed's broadly optimistic outlook last night."

There were plenty of European earnings for investors to chew over Thursday, as well as takeover news.

In London, shares in British consumer health giant Reckitt Benckiser won 2.9 percent to £70.29 pence after the maker of Durex condoms and Nurofen painkillers said it is in talks to take over Mead Johnson, an American infant and child nutrition specialist.

Deutsche Bank meanwhile slumped 5.1 percent to 18.20 euros after the troubled German lender reported a net loss of 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) for 2016 as it struggles with the impact of mammoth fines, lower revenues and restructuring costs.

- Fed sees solid growth -

The dollar was Thursday down versus its main rivals following the US central bank's latest policy meeting.

In their assessment of the world's biggest economy, Fed policymakers on Wednesday pointed to solid US economic growth, job gains and improving business and consumer confidence, but gave little away about its intentions for monetary policy.

The bank said it still expects to raise US interest rates only gradually, though analysts said the timing is a subject of debate.

The dollar's weakness compares with the rally it enjoyed in the two months after President Donald Trump's November election win when traders bet his plans for big spending and tax cuts would fire the US economy, stoke inflation and lead to rate hikes.

However, his order to ban travellers from seven Muslim-majority nations and a series of outbursts from the administration have fuelled concern he will press on with a unilateralist agenda that could lead to a global trade war.

- Key figures around 1030 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,123.47 points

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.3 percent at 11,623.42

Paris - CAC 40: FLAT at 4,793.97

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,250.28

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.2 percent at 18,914.58 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.6 percent at 23,184.52 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: Closed for holiday

New York - Dow: UP 0.1 percent at 19,890.94 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0811 from $1.0766

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2677 from $1.2657

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 112.36 yen from 113.27 yen

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 30 cents at $54.18 per barrel

Oil - Brent North Sea: UP 58 cents at $57.38

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