News Column

European stocks take a pause ahead of Yellen`s testimony

February 10, 2014

European stocks were little change Monday, losing steam in thin trade after a two-day rally, as investor focus now turns toward a speech from new Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, which should shed some light on the Central Bank's stance on monetary policy. -  Stoxx      600   gained 0.06 percent or 0.21 points to  325.30 -  Stoxx 50   dropped 0.20% to  3032.53 The new head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, is to deliver her first testimony to the House of Representatives on Tuesday and the Senate on Thursday. The U.S. central bank has trimmed its asset purchases twice since December, encouraged by momentum in the economy in late 2013. But after mixed macro data including Friday`s lower-than-expected payrolls and turmoil in emerging markets, investors will be looking for clues about whether the Fed could pause its stimulus withdrawal. Markets will await tomorrow's testimony to find out how the Federal Reserve is interpreting the latest jobs figures. Last Friday, data showed U.S. employers hired fewer workers than expected in January - non-farm payrolls rose by 113,000, well below the consensus of 185,000 - although the unemployment rate hit a five-year low of 6.6 percent. Corporate News Nokia also featured among the top gainers, up 4 percent after the firm said it has settled a technology licensing dispute with HTC. L'Oreal. Shares in the world`s no.1 cosmetics maker gained 4.5 percent on rising expectations that the firm will buy back its shares owned by Nestle. U.K. bank  Barclays  announced adjusted profit before tax for 2013 of £5.2 billion ($8.5 billion) on Monday, ahead of its full earnings release on Tuesday. Spanish blue-chips Banco Santander, BBVA and Telefonica - which have a huge exposure to Latin America - were down 1.4-1.9 percent, with traders citing worries over local currencies such as the Brazilian real, which dropped 0.6 percent on Monday. -The British  FTSE 100   gained 0.30% or 19.87 points to  6591.55 -The French  CAC 40   gained 0.21% or 8.95 to  4237.13 -Frankfurt's  DAX 30   lost 0.13% or 12.06 points to  9289.86

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Source: Financial Markets

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