Europe Shares Higher ahead of ECB Decision; Airlines Soar

Big 5

European shares were higher in morning trade on Thursday as investors awaited the latest European Central Bank (ECB) interest rate announcement.

Airline stocks soar

The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 Index was broadly higher, as the travel and leisure sector rallied.

Shares of airline Ryanair rose 8 percent after it raised its profit guidance, while Tui Travel also climbed after it beat its annual profit forecasts. EasyJet shares traded 4 percent higher after November traffic figures, and all three firms benefited from some good news from the U.K. government on Wednesday, when it scrapped the tax paid on child air fares.

Meanwhile, a continued decline in inflation and business activity in the euro zone have spurred hopes that the ECB’s governing council, led by President Mario Draghi, could announce more stimulus measures on Thursday.

A Reuters poll of economists earlier this week showed that none of them expected any action to be unveiled, however. The rate decision is due at 12:45 p.m. London time. Draghi will speak in front of the press shortly afterwards.

Symbol

Name

Price

Change

%Change

Volume

FTSE

FTSE 100 Index

6714.29

 

-2.34

-0.03%

58029393

DAX

DAX Index

9984.34

 

12.55

0.13%

9063114

CAC 40

CAC 40 Index

4388.87

 

-2.99

-0.07%

10055095

IBEX 35

IBEX 35 Idx

10874.10

 

-1.80

-0.02%

27777811

BoE decision ahead

Asian stock markets rose on Thursday on the back of strong U.S. data, with China’s benchmark index leading gains. The Dow and S&P 500 closed at fresh record highs overnight after the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book indicated optimism about the economic outlook.

In the U.K., investors will be digesting the Chancellor George Osborne’s ‘Autumn Statement’ which was delivered on Wednesday. The government’s taxation and spending plans included a reduction in property taxes, known as “stamp duty,” and a tax hike for multinational companies.

With a general election in the U.K. five months away, this was one of Osborne’s last opportunities to outline measures for the economy. The Bank of England also meets on Thursday and will announce its interest rate decision at 12.00 p.m. London time.

In other news, Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to deliver his annual Presidential address to the Federal Assembly. This will be keenly watched as the country’s currency tumbles and economy struggles on the back of the decline in the oil price and European sanctions on Russia for its alleged incursions into Ukraine.

Related Securities

Symbol

Price

Change

%Change

FTSE

6714.29

 

-2.34

-0.03%

DAX

9984.34

 

12.55

0.13%

CAC 40

4388.87

 

-2.99

-0.07%

STOXX600

349.35

 

0.01

0%

.SXTP

219.36

 

2.99

1.38%

RY4B

9.448

 

0.728

8.35%

TT.

442.10

 

13.40

3.13%

EZJ

1713.00

 

45.00

2.70%

Source: CNBC

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