European Stocks Are Little Changed Before ECB Draghi’s Speech

European stocks were little changed at a two-month high, before a speech by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi that may give further indication on stimulus measures.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.1 percent to 346.76 at 8:17 a.m. in London. The benchmark gauge has jumped to its highest level since Sept. 22 as Draghi said the ECB may broaden its asset-buying program to include the purchase of government bonds, while China cut benchmark interest rates for the first time since 2012. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.2 percent. U.S. markets are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Indexes including France’s CAC 40 Index, Portugal’s PSI 20 Index and the Netherlands’ AEX Index are not trading. Euronext said on its website there will be no dissemination of all its indexes for the opening until further notice because of a technical incident.

Germany’s DAX Index climbed 0.2 percent for an 11th daily gain, the longest streak since May 2013.

Draghi may seek to reiterate the urgency of providing stimulus measures as he speaks in Helsinki at 1:30 p.m. local time, before a monetary-policy decision on Dec. 4. Data tomorrow will probably show inflation is sliding closer to zero, according to economists’ forecasts. ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio, said yesterday that officials would consider buying sovereign debt starting in the first quarter if needed.

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, who has said sovereign-bond purchases by the ECB may face legal hurdles, is due to speak at 1:15 p.m. Frankfurt time.

The number of people out of work in Germany probably fell a seasonally adjusted 1,000 in November, after declining 22,000 the previous month, economists predicted before data at 9:55 a.m. local time. The unemployment rate probably held at 6.7 percent, they forecast.

Remy Cointreau SA rose 6.6 percent after the French cognac maker reported first-half operating profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates. Infineon Technologies AG dropped 1.7 percent after saying first-quarter sales may fall as much as 9 percent from the previous three months.

Source : Bloomberg


Hong Kong Shares Close Down 0.45 %

Hong Kong stocks fell 0.45 percent down Thursday, while China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended on its highest close in more than three years.

The Hang Seng Index fell 107.70 points to 24,004.28 points on turnover of HK$ 72.888 billion (US$ 9.4 billion).

But in China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.00 percent, or 26.15 points, to 2,630.49 on turnover of 339.0 billion yuan ($ 55.2 billion).

The close was the highest since August 4, 2011, when the index ended at 2,684.04 points.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, rose 0.75 percent, or 10.52 points, to 1,416.18 on turnover of 270.6 billion yuan.

Source : AFP