- European stocks hold higher
- No action expected from ECB
- Donetsk to vote on independence May 11th
nearly unchanged at 1.3925
FTSE 100: 0.63%
Dax 30: 0.90%
Cac 50: 1.37%
FTSE Mibtel 30: 2.30%
Ibex 35: 1.70%
Stoxx 600: 1.05%
The main European equity benchmarks finished the Thursday session firmly higher following the surprisingly 'dovish' remarks out from the European Central Bank´s President, Mario Draghi.
In the question-and-answer session following today´s decision to keep all of the ECB´s main policy settings unchanged Draghi said that: "The Governing Council is comfortable with acting next time, but before we want to see the staff projections that will come out in the early June."
That would seem to indicate a very clear possibility that the central bank will indeed ease policy again at its next meeting, although there is still some debate amongst economists as to just how aggressive any such move will be.
Be that as it may, the euro ended the day 0.34% lower at 1.3864.
Yields on 10-year Italian bonds were moving lower by six basis points to 2.95% as of 16:51 and those on their Spanish counterparts were down by another eight basis points, at 2.89%.
Acting as a backdrop, concrete steps where outlined to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine at the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the OSCE´s Chairman, primarily through increased dialogue between the authorities in Kiev and those representing the separatists in the countrys southeast, Interfax cited Putin as having said.
Moscow will study said roadmap from the OSCE, the same agency reported. However, later in the day it became known that the city of Donetsk still plans to go ahead with a referendum on independence on May 11th.
At today´s meeting the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to maintain Bank Rate at 0.5% and the stock of purchased assets financed by the issuance of central bank reserves unchanged at 375bn pounds.
That came as HSBC said it was on alert for the Bank of England to intervene in the housing sector amid growing concern that a collapse in the booming London market could threaten Britain's economic recovery, The Daily Telegraph reported on Thursday morning.
Data out overnight showed a surprise 0.9% year-on-year rise in Chinese exports for the month of April, well ahead of the 3% monthly drop which analysts had penciled in.
Banks lead gains
Spanish petrochemical giant Repsol unveiled a 1.5% increase in quarterly adjusted net income to €532m; that came in well ahead of analysts´ forecasts.
Shares in Vallourec, the French manufacturer of steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, advanced 3% after unveiling first-quarter earnings that came in ahead of analysts´ estimates.
Tiremaker Pirelli came out with profit figures which fell short of market projections.
From a sector stand-point the best performance was to be seen in the following industrial groups: Real estate (2.04%) and Real estate (1.65%).
Weak industrial production figures in Germany
Industrial production in Germany decreased by 0.5% month-on-month in March, according to the Federal Office of Statistics.
The consensus estimate had been for a gain of 0.2% over the month (4.2% year-on-year).
Euro steady at 1.3940
Front month Brent crude futures were down 0.343% at $107.76/barrel on the ICE.
The single currency was 0.34% lower at 1.3864 versus the US dollar
by the close of trading.