Thursday, March 16, 2017

European Markets Higher; Focus On Central Banks

March 16, 2017

Markets in Europe were higher on Thursday following the U.S. Federal Reserve announcement of a new rate hike.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.35 percent higher with most sectors trading in positive territory with the FTSE 100 hitting a record high of 7,418.

Basic resources led the gains up by 2.16 percent after news that Indian tycoon Anil Agarwal is making a personal bet on Anglo American worth up to 2 billion pounds. Most of the best-performing stocks in early deals belonged to the sector with Anglo American up by 10 percent, Fresnillo higher by 6 percent and Antofagasta up by 5 percent.

The German airline Lufthansa moved up by 4 percent in early deals after reporting earnings of 1.75 billion euros last year, in line with forecasts. However it added that it expects profits to fall slightly in 2017.

By contrast, the French Renault was down by nearly 4 percent after regulators said that Carlos Ghosn, the head of the firm, should be held responsible in current diesel emission cheating investigations.

Central Banks

Fed chair Janet Yellen hiked rates by 25 points on Wednesday evening but signaled no pick-up in the pace of normalization of rates.

Meanwhile, in Japan, the Central Bank said Thursday morning it was keeping its rates unchanged and the People's Bank of China raised its short-term interest rate by 10 basis points on both medium-term lending facility loans and its open market operation reverse repurchase agreements.

Nonetheless, on Thursday, investors will be looking at Norway's and the U.K.'s central banks for their latest rate decisions.

Looking at politics, voters in the Netherlands headed heavily to the polls to choose their next prime minister. According to exit polls, the center-right Mark Rutte defeated the anti-immigrant and anti-establishment Freedom Party. However, analysts warn it could take months before Rutte manages to form a coalition government.

Emmanuel Macron, the current frontrunner in the French presidential election, is set to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel at 2 PM London time.

Article Link To CNBC: