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November rally in European stocks stalls after comments from ECB officials

Published Nov 28, 2023 08:47 Updated Nov 28, 2023 17:11
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© Reuters. The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, November 21, 2023. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo
 
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By Sruthi Shankar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar

(Reuters) -European shares fell for a second session on Tuesday, stalling November's strong run of gains, after comments by European Central Bank policymakers dampened expectations of interest rate cuts next year.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index eased 0.3%, with market heavyweights such as Novo Nordisk (CSE:NOVOb) and LVMH (EPA:LVMH) falling 3.1% and 1.8%, respectively.

The healthcare sector slid 1.4%, with Belgian pharmaceutical firm Argenx tumbling 10.1% to the bottom of the STOXX 600 after an advance study of its treatment for bleeding disorder failed to meet primary and secondary endpoints.

The benchmark was still on course for its best monthly performance since January, on expectations that major central banks including the Federal Reserve and the ECB were done raising interest rates and could begin easing policy next year.

Bundesbank chief Joachim Nagel said on Tuesday the ECB may need to raise interest rates again if the inflation outlook worsened, and that the bank should not rush to ease policy too quickly after the steepest set of rates hikes on record.

ECB President Christine Lagarde said on Monday the bank's fight to contain price growth was not yet done.

"Speeches from central bank policymakers this week are aimed at curbing enthusiasm that rate cuts could come sooner rather than later," said Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets, Hargreaves Lansdown (LON:HRGV).

"Jerome Powell, chair of the Fed, is also highly likely to sing from the same song sheet when he speaks on Friday."

Investors will focus on a slew of economic data this week including euro zone inflation numbers on Thursday and U.S. Personal Consumption Expenditures index - the Fed's preferred inflation gauge - for clues on the monetary policy path.

Traders are currently pricing in a 45% chance of a first 25 bps rate cut by the ECB in April, down from about a 90% chance two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, a survey showed German consumer sentiment improved slightly heading into the Christmas month but remained at a very low level with no signs of sustainable recovery in Europe's biggest economy.

Julius Baer slid 4.7% as Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) downgraded the Swiss bank to "underweight" from "equal-weight," concerned by the quality of some of its assets.

Ubisoft fell 9.0% after the French video game producer announced a placement of convertible or exchangeable bonds into shares.

RWE (LON:0HA0) will raise investment in green energy technologies to 55 billion euros ($60 billion) over the next seven years, Germany's biggest power producer said, lifting its shares by 3.1%.

November rally in European stocks stalls after comments from ECB officials
 

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