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Europe close: Stocks slip even after ECB opens door to June rate cut

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Thursday 11 Apr 2024

Europe close: Stocks slip even after ECB opens door to June rate cut

(Sharecast News) - European stock markets were in the red amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the interest-rate outlook in the U.S..
That resulting nervousness swamped the positive signal from the European Central Bank regarding the possibility of a reduction in interest rates come June.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 0.4% at 504.55, with losses of between 0.3% and 1.16% being registered across London, France, Frankfurt, Milan and Madrid.

Producer price data for March in the U.S. undershot market expectations slightly on Thursday, but investors were still mulling figures released the day before that showed U.S. CPI beat economists' forecasts for the third straight month.

Shares on Wall Street initially fell back on the heels of the producer price report.

Economists at Berenberg also mused out loud regarding the scope for continued easy fiscal policy in the States if "one party gains the presidency and control of both houses of the US Congress in November."

Market movers

French advertising and PR titan Publicis added 3% after reporting a 5.3% increase in revenues in its first quarter, ahead of expectations, on the back of new business wins.

Swiss fragrance group Givaudan also impressed with a 13% jump in first-quarter like-for-like sales, ahead of the 6.9% growth expected by consensus.

UK-listed biopharma giant AstraZeneca announced that it will increase its annual dividend by 7%, which the board said demonstrates its confidence in the company's performance and cash generation.

Elsewhere in London, broker comments were moving stocks: Marks & Spencer gained at JPMorgan Cazenove upgraded the retailer to 'overweight' from 'neutral'; while asset managers Jupiter and Liontrust were hit by downgrades from Barclays, to 'underweight' and 'equal weight', respectively.

Meanwhile, UK-listed self-storage firm Lok'nStore surged 16% after agreeing to be bought by Belgian rival Shurgard in a £378m deal.


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