News Column

Europe awaits Yellen debut; Barclays slumps

February 11, 2014

European stocks rose for fifth day on Tuesday in a trade that will be all about Janet Yellen and her debut as the chief of the Federal Reserve in front of the Congress. Perhaps this is a day more for style than substance, where Janet Yellen makes her first public appearance as the head of the Fed, in her second week on the job since succeeding Ben Bernanke earlier this month. The market consensus expects her to underpin the central bank's determination to halt the money-printing presses later this year, while ensuring investors that a spike in interest rates remains far off, perhaps, as the economic recovery takes hold into this year. Janet Yellen will testify before the House Financial Services Committee in her first semi-annual report on monetary policy and the outlook for the US economy. The major event will be Yellen taking her hot seat at the Capitol Hill in the US. But looking at the markets, volumes were low today due to holiday in Japan and lack of major economic data amid speculation that Yellen will offer hints on how quickly the Fed will cut back its stimulus program. As of 03:25 a.m. EST: - Europe's Stoxx 600 was up 0.46% at 326.81 - Britain'sFTSE 100 was up 0.49% at 6,623.55 - France's CAC 40 was up 0.45% at 4,256.33 - Germany's DAX 30 was up 0.73% at 9,357.33 The European Stoxx 600 was higher for the fifth day. All the groups gained this morning, led by strong gains in basic materials and consumer services shares. The bunch of events will come into focus today as well, including: - The Corruption trial of former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi begins in Naples - Bank of Portugal released data on Portuguese banks, including ECB financing - French President Francois Hollande continues his visit to the US, where he attends a welcome ceremony at the White House. Back to the corporate front, UK lender Barclays topped the headlines having released its full-year earnings earlier by on day on Tuesday, but with huge disappointment as the bank`s costs target has pushed its CEO Antony Jenkins to announce he`s eliminating jobs, including hundreds at the investment banking operation. Barclays dropped 1.69% to 270.35 pence a share as of 04:04 a.m. EST. Shares of French cosmetics maker L`Oreal reversed morning gains falling as much as 2.25% as the company agreed to buy back 8% of its stock for 6 billion euros from Nestle.

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Source: Financial Markets

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