European stocks end flat after ECB’s Draghi comments

European stocks ended flat during Friday’s afternoon trade, the day after the European Central Bank (ECB) quashed talk regarding its future monetary policy, sending the euro to its lowest point since March.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was provisionally flat at the end of European trade with sectors mixed.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 edged into the negative territory along with the French CAC 40, both closing 0.09 percent down. Meanwhile, the German DAX finished the trading week by the same margin but in the green by 0.09 percent.

Shares of InterContinental Hotels Group also tumbled after third-quarter results pointed to a slowdown on the back of security fears damaging enthusiasm for travel, while demand for hotels in oil-producing areas of the United States was hit by continued oil price volatility. As a result, InterContinental Hotels Group shares closed 2 percent in the red.

Germany’s SAP meanwhile ended Friday’s afternoon trade 3.3 percent higher in spite of a 19 percent slump in third-quarter profit.

Elsewhere, British American Tobacco’s stock jumped on the announcement it is offering $47 billion to buy out the stake it does not own in Reynolds American. However, though shares rose 4 percent at one stage in morning trade, BAT soon ran out of steam and closed down 2.8 percent.

ECB in focus

The dollar index was a beneficiary of the euro’s slide which occurred in reaction to ECB President Mario Draghi’s refusal on Thursday to give any legs to recent speculation policymakers may opt to begin tapering of the bank’s 1.7 trillion-euro asset purchase program in the near-term.

Draghi made clear that all decisions would be deferred to the ECB’s December 8 meeting. Oil and gold moved lower seemingly on profit-taking linked to the dollar edging higher.

Source: CNBC