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European stocks climbed, with the benchmark index heading for its ninth straight monthly gain, as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled they would maintain monetary support measures.
Draghi signaled the bank has no intention of tightening monetary policy anytime soon with inflation projected to “significantly” undershoot its 2 percent target next year.
While the ECB’s balance sheet may shrink naturally as confidence returns to financial markets and banks repay emergency loans, policy makers are far from considering an exit from monetary stimulus, Draghi said at an event in Munich late yesterday.
Bernanke yesterday defended record stimulus to Congress, saying accommodation has helped reduce borrowing costs and spur growth. He also said the central bank may decide to hold bonds on its $3.1 trillion balance sheet to maturity as part of a review of its strategy for an exit from record monetary easing.
Italy is headed for a broad coalition government as bondholders pressure Pier Luigi Bersani and Silvio Berlusconi to set aside their rivalries and form a partnership, said Finance Undersecretary Gianfranco Polillo.
Bayer increased 2.4 percent to 75.60 euros after saying sales will rise to about 41 billion euros ($53.9 billion) this year. Fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and special items increased 18 percent to 1.83 billion euros from 1.54 billion euros a year earlier, in line with analysts’ estimates.
Telefonica added 21 cents to 10.01 euros after reporting fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as sales growth in Latin America helped to offset revenue declines in its domestic market. Operating income before depreciation and amortization fell 8.6 percent to 5.45 billion euros, compared with projections for 5.44 billion euros.
FTSE 100 6,338.2 +12.32 +0.19%
CAC 40 3,702.68 +11.19 +0.30%
DAX 7,726.61 +50.78 +0.66%
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