World Economy

European Stocks Mixed, Asians Gain

European Stocks Mixed, Asians GainEuropean Stocks Mixed, Asians Gain

European stocks traded mixed on Tuesday as investors digested mixed earnings reports and looked ahead to key central bank meetings in the US and Japan.

The Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day policy meeting late Tuesday, with markets looking for clues to future action. The Bank of Japan is due to announce its monetary policy decision on Friday, news outlets reported.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was marginally lower in midday trading after rising 0.2% in the previous session. France’s CAC 40 index was moving down 0.2% while the German DAX was up 0.1% and the UK’s FTSE 100 was gaining 0.3%.

BT Group soared 4.5% in London after British regulator Ofcom said its Openreach network business can become a legally separate company within the telecoms group.

Mondi shares climbed almost 4%. The packaging and paper group said its underlying operating profit for the half year ended June 30 would be above that of the comparable prior-year period of €490 million.

BP PLC shares dropped 2.5% as the oil major posted its third straight quarterly loss.

Telecommunications group Orange tumbled 4% in Paris after posting muted growth in sales in the second quarter.

Europe’s bank index fell 1.5%, the sector with the biggest fall as investors were cautious ahead of Friday’s release of European-wide stress tests.

Banks have been the worst sectoral performer this year due to concerns over capital being squeezed by margin pressure caused by ultra low interest rates.

German lender Commerzbank tumbled 5.5% in Frankfurt after a warning that its capital position had weakened in the second quarter as a result of accounting adjustments to reflect operational risks to banks across the industry.

Consumer goods giant Unilever rose 0.5% after pricing a dual-tranche $1.25 billion bond on the US market.

  Asia Rises

Asian markets mostly gained Tuesday, with the exception of Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average, which closed down 1.4% as a stronger yen weighed on exporters.

The yen was recently 1.2% higher against the dollar after a report published on Tuesday by the Nikkei business daily suggested an eagerly-awaited fiscal stimulus package from Tokyo may fall short of expectations.

Japan’s currency has been volatile in recent sessions as traders anticipate further easing at the Bank of Japan’s meeting concluding Friday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.7% to reach its highest in almost a year, aided by gains in China and South Korea.

The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.1% at the close, the first time it’s moved more than 1% in either direction in two weeks.