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European stocks were little changed, following a four-day decline, as investors awaited interest-rate decisions from the European Central Bank and the Bank of England. U.S. index futures fluctuated, while Asian shares fell.
ECB President Mario Draghi releases inflation and growth projections today at the central bank’s first meeting since the Governing Council cut interest rates to a record low.
Officials will keep the benchmark rate unchanged this time, according to every economist in a Bloomberg News survey. Policy makers will announce their decision at 1:45 p.m. in Frankfurt. Draghi will host a press conference, setting out the forecasts, 45 minutes later.
In the U.K., Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers his Autumn Statement today. The Office for Budget Responsibility will also raise its growth forecast for 2013 to 1.4 percent from the 0.6 percent that it predicted in March, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
The Bank of England will announce its interest-rate decision at 12 p.m. in London. The central bank will leave its benchmark rate at a record low and its bond-buying program unchanged, separate surveys show.
AZ Electronic Materials rallied 52 percent to 398.5 pence. Merck agreed to pay 403.5 pence a share for the Luxembourg-based company, it said in a statement. The acquisition will enable the German drugmaker’s chemicals division to expand into new markets. Merck climbed 3.5 percent to 128.75 euros, the highest price since its initial public offering in October 1995.
Remy Cointreau SA advanced 3.4 percent to 62.46 euros after the maker of Remy Martin cognac said its board has authorized a buyback of as many as 2.5 million shares. The drinks company will cancel the shares that it purchases.
FLSmidth declined 1.1 percent to 270.30 kroner. The company lowered its forecast earnings before interest, taxes and amortization ">FTSE 100 6,509.13 -0.84 -0.01%
CAC 40 4,145.33 -3.19 -0.08%
DAX 9,151.59 +10.96 +0.12%
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