Italy’s Political Drama Weighs on European Stocks

By Investors Hub

European stocks were trading mixed on Wednesday as investors continued to fret over Italian politics and the country’s future in the European Union.

Overall losses, if any, remained limited as Italian equities rebounded on reports that the major parties in Italy are calling for President Sergio Mattarella to dissolve parliament immediately and conduct fresh elections as early as July.

On the data front, the day’s economic reports proved to be a mixed bag.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.1 percent at 383.98 in late opening deals after losing 1.4 percent in the previous session.

The German DAX was moving up 0.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was marginally higher while France’s CAC 40 was down 0.6 percent after the release of disappointing data. Italy’s FTSE MIB was up 0.4 percent after falling around 4 percent so far this week.

German biotech firm Evotec rose over 1 percent after an update that it will receive a $6 million payment from Celgene following Celgene’s decision to expand the collaboration to include additional cell lines.

Vivendi shares slumped nearly 5 percent in Paris after its pay-television channel lost its three-decade hold on the broadcasting rights to French soccer.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group shares fell over 1 percent in London after Ewen Stevenson resigned from his role as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director to take up an opportunity elsewhere.

In economic releases, Germany’s jobless rate dropped to adjusted 3.4 percent in April from 3.5 percent in March, figures from Destatis revealed. Another report showed that German retail sales expanded for the first time in five months in April.

GDP and consumer spending figures from France disappointed investors.

While French consumer spending dropped 1.5 percent month-over-month in April, reversing a 0.2 percent rise in March, France’s GDP grew 0.2 percent sequentially in the first quarter, slower than the 0.7 percent expansion registered a quarter ago, second estimate from the country’s statistical office showed.

Eurozone economic sentiment and business confidence data for May are due later in the session.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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