UNITED KINGDOM – European stocks are expected to have a quiet Monday. Trading is expected to thin out this week as the region prepares for Christmas and Boxing Day. However, positive news from China and strong US data will investors upbeat.
Early trading indicates London stocks will be mixed. Shares are trading a little lower as the week commences. However, it’s difficult to read anything into this as trade volumes and news are slow ahead of the holidays.
The FTSE 100 is down by 0.09 point to 7,573.39 while the FTSE 250 has already gone up 64.94 points to 21,739.54 a few hours into the day. The pound sterling is also 0.08% higher against the dollar. The Pan-European STOXX 600 is down 0.1%.
The optimism about Brexit and the global economy has pushed European equities to record highs last week. But with the upcoming holidays, the signing of the trade deal set for 2020, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s hardline stance on Brexit, analysts are saying there’s nothing that would push stocks to advance this week.
Some sectors still believe that the week ahead can be a positive one, especially as China appears to be taking steps to be more open. The country’s Ministry of Finance announced early today that there will be a year-long reduction in tariffs.
Beijing has earmarked more than 850 products for this. Avocado, frozen pork, medicines, and semiconductors are likely to benefit from the reduced tariffs.
The move is said to be in line with China’s decision to open their economy, and not influenced by their trade agreement with the United States.
Europe is not the only market having a quiet start to the week. Shares around the world are basically stalled despite having near record highs. Currency trading are also unchanged today due to holidays and investors taking profit on gains they’ve secured this month.
The MSCI all-country index is flat. The index gained almost 3% this month and appears headed for its best performance since 2009.
The Asian market had a mixed start this week despite President Donald Trump’s pronouncement on Saturday about the possibility of China and the US signing the Phase One trade agreement “very shortly.”
Japan futures were up by 0.3% while Hong Kong contracts didn’t move. Sydney shares are down 0.4%. Meanwhile, China experienced their worst trading day in six weeks.
Currency wise, the euro is at $1.10 after gaining 0.05%. The sterling also saw gains and is at $1.3027. The Japanese yen went down by 0.8% and is at 109.35.