European Shares Little Changed as Investors Mull U.S. Rate Hike

European shares were little changed in thin trading as investors considered the implications of a possible increase in U.S. interest rates after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said a hike is likely in the coming months.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.1 percent to 350.14 at the close of trading, after briefly rising as much as 0.2 percent, with automakers rising the most. The number of shares changing hands on the gauge was about 74 percent lower than the 30-day average. Financial markets in the U.S. and U.K. were shut for holidays.

Yellen said late Friday that an improving American economy would probably warrant another increase in borrowing costs “in the coming months,” a view also recently expressed by several regional Fed chiefs. She was speaking after data showed U.S. growth picked up more in the first quarter than was previously estimated. Traders have increased the odds of an interest-rate increase in June to 36 percent and to 59 percent for July.

Source : Bloomberg

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Hong Kong shares edge up

Hong Kong shares finished slightly higher on Monday, following marginal gains in mainland China indexes.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.3 percent to 20,629.39 points, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.3 percent to 8,624.76.

The total trading volume of companies included in the HSI index was 1.8 billion shares.

Source: reuters

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