European Stocks Little Changed; Transocean Shares Climb
Friday, 04 May 2012 | 00:00
European stocks were little changed as the president of the European Central Bank said policy makers didn’t discuss cutting interest rates, offsetting earnings from Smith & Nephew Plc (SN/) and Transocean Ltd. that beat estimates.
Delhaize Group SA (DELB) dropped 10 percent after the owner of the Food Lion stores in the U.S. posted quarterly results that missed projections.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.1 percent to 257.53 at 4:30 p.m. in London, after earlier advancing as much as 1 percent and retreating as much as 0.4 percent. The volume of shares changing hands on the Stoxx 600 was 1.1 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The ECB kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 1 percent today as predicted by every economist in a Bloomberg News survey. Stocks erased gains after President Mario Draghi, speaking at a press conference in Barcelona, said the central bankers did not talk about cutting rates today.
While the ECB still expects a gradual economic recovery this year, “downside risks” prevail and the outlook has become “more uncertain,” Draghi said.
National benchmark indexes slid in 10 of the 18 western- European (SXXP) markets today. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent and Germany’s DAX decreased 0.2 percent.
Gains were also limited today after the U.S. Institute for Supply Management’s index of non-manufacturing industries cooled to 53.5 in April from 56 in March. That fell short of the median economist projection of 55.3. Readings greater than 50 signal expansion.
A separate release showed fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week. Tomorrow’s Labor Department report tomorrow may show employers added 160,000 new jobs in April, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
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