© Reuters. Traders during trading on the German Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Thursday. Photo: Reuters.
(Reuters) – European stocks fell on Thursday, in losses led by the travel sector due to weak results from Britain’s trainline, while shares of food and beverage companies reached their highest levels in 14 months after strong earnings.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed down 0.1 percent. The travel and leisure sector was the worst performer, with its index dropping 1.7 percent after the rail operator Trenline reported an annual loss.
The shares of the major oil companies had a significant negative impact on the index in light of the drop in oil prices, and the shares of technology companies also fell in parallel with their American counterparts.
Investors were alarmed after the Bank of England’s decision to slow the pace of its $ 1 trillion bond-buying program, despite its stress that the monetary policy stance had not changed.
But the possibility of tightening monetary policy of major central banks casts a shadow over the markets this year, as interest rates may rise faster than expected due to fears of high inflation.
“Right now, the Bank of England is borrowing a page from the Federal Reserve’s book, giving a completely vague signal that tightening will not precede major progress on the recovery front,” ING analysts wrote in a note.
“However, in the not-too-distant future, we expect the central bank to provide more details on how it may reduce its holdings in conjunction with raising interest rates in the future.”
(Prepared by Ahmed Elhami for the Arabic Bulletin)
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