Register for Digital Look

Europe close: Stoxx 600 snaps nine-day win streak

By Benjamin Chiou

Date: Thursday 16 May 2024

Europe close: Stoxx 600 snaps nine-day win streak

(Sharecast News) - After a tentative start, European stock markets were firmly in the red on Thursday as investors chose to take profits following a nine-day winning streak that sent the Stoxx 600 index to record highs.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished down 0.21% at 523.62, pulling back from Wednesday's all-time closing high of 524.71.

Almost every major benchmark index registered losses, with the exception of Madrid's FTSE MIB after a surprise drop in Italian inflation. Final estimates showed that annual inflation in Italy eased to 0.8% in April, down from 1.2% in March and below the preliminary estimate of 0.9%.

In other macro news, Japan's economy shrank more than expected in the first quarter as consumers tightened their belts in response to stagnant wage growth, companies cut spending and exports fell. GDP contracted 2% from last year, compared with a forecast decline of 1.2% and now clouds the outlook for the Bank of Japan's plans to lift interest rates.

Wall Street stocks were moving in a positive direction, as investors continued to react to the latest inflation figures out the previous session, which showed that price pressures eased in April.

"Investors have been pumped up by the latest inflation reading, believing it is cool enough to stir the Federal Reserve into action and cut rates in the near future," said Dan Coatsworth, investment analyst at AJ Bell.

"It also helps that quite a few US companies are getting a positive reaction to their latest results, together lifting the general mood around the markets and firing up enthusiasm to make trades."

European market movers

Roche reported positive trial results for its experimental weight loss treatment on Thursday, sending shares in the Swiss drugs group 3% higher. The firm said that over 24 weeks, the once-weekly injection had achieved "clinically meaningful and statistically significant" weight loss in healthy test subjects.

Stocks across the continent were providing a drag after going ex-dividend, meaning that from today shareholders would not have access to their latest payouts. These including BMW, Daimler Truck, GSK, Kingfisher, Tesco, Balfour Beatty, Unilever, BP and Shell.

French video game maker Ubisoft slumped 13% after disappointing the market with guidance for the current quarter.

Sage Group shares were down 9% in London as the accountancy software company downgraded its guidance despite reporting a robust first-half performance, while BT jumped 15% as it laid out plans to save £3bn of costs a year by the end of the decade.


Email this article to a friend

or share it with one of these popular networks:

Top of Page