European Shares Retreat Ahead Of UK Budget

stockmarkets jan04 27oct21 lt

European stocks fell on Wednesday as inflation worries persisted and investors looked ahead to the ECB meeting on Thursday for guidance on its pandemic bond-buying program.

Traders also awaited the budget announcement from U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak later today, where he is expected to reassures investors and consumers about the ongoing rise in inflation and unemployment.

The pan European Stoxx 600 dropped 0.4 percent to 474.01 after climbing 0.8 percent on Tuesday. The German DAX, France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 were down between 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent.

Miners Anglo American and Glencore fell more than 2 percent in London as concerns about Chinese intervention hit metal prices.

FirstGroup jumped 5.4 percent. The transport group said it plans to return up to 500 million pounds to its shareholders through a tender offer at 105 pence per share.

HomeServe climbed 4.8 percent. The home repairs and improvements business said that it has completed the acquisition of CET Structures Ltd., a digitally-enabled home emergency assistance business in the UK, for circa 53 million pounds.

Schneider Electric shares rallied 2.4 percent in Paris. The energy management firm reported that its third-quarter revenues were 7.22 billion euros, a growth of 11.8 percent from last year.

German design company Puma advanced 3 percent after raising its sales and profit forecasts for the year.

Lender Deutsche Bank slumped 5.3 percent after core bank profit before tax declined slightly in its third quarter.

Banco Santander tumbled 3.3 percent. The Spanish lender said it is well on track to significantly outperform its profitability target for 2021.

In economic releases, German import price index climbed 17.7 percent year-on-year in September following a 16.5 percent rise in August, Destatits reported. Economists had forecast an 18.0 percent increase.

The latest inflation rate was the highest year-on-year change since August 1981, when it was 19.5 percent.

German consumer confidence is set to improve in November on increasing propensity to consume, survey results from the market research group Gfk showed.

The forward-looking consumer confidence index rose to 0.9 in November from revised 0.4 in October. Economists had forecast the index to fall to -0.5.

The INSEE official statistics agency said that a gauge of French consumer sentiment fell 2 points to 99 in October from 101 in September.

U.K. shop prices slid 0.4 percent year-on-year in October after a 0.5 percent drop in the previous month, the British Retail Consortium said.

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