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European stocks were little changed, after the Stoxx Europe 600 Index yesterday dropped to a six-week low, as investors awaited policy announcements from the European Central Bank and Bank of England. U.S. index futures rose, while Asian shares fell.
The ECB will probably keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.5 percent at its meeting today, economists forecast before the announcement at 1.45 p.m. in Frankfurt. ECB President Mario Draghi will address a press conference 45 minutes later.
In the U.K., BOE holds its last policy meeting with Governor Mervyn King at the helm. The central bank will probably retain its asset-purchase target at 375 billion pounds and its benchmark interest rate at 0.5 percent, economists predicted before the decisions at noon in London.
Factory orders in Germany, Europe's largest economy, declined 2,3 percent in April after increasing 2.2 percent in the previous month.
RSA, which insures cars, homes and ships in the U.K., Scandinavia and emerging markets, rose 1.8 percent to 115.2 pence. Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the stock to overweight, the equivalent of a buy recommendation, from underweight.
Vinci SA gained 0.4 percent to 38.94 euros. Qatar Rail awarded the tunneling contract to a group led by Vinci and Qatari Diar for the construction of subway in Doha, New Civil Engineer reported citing unidentified engineers.
Barclays fell 1.8 percent to 310.5 pence, its lowest price since May 15. Nomura Holdings Inc. is selling 84.5 million shares in the lender on behalf of an investor at 308.5 pence a share to market price.
FTSE 100 6,421.45 +2.14 +0.03%
CAC 40 3,865.84 +13.40 +0.35%
DAX 8,212.76 +16.58 +0.20%
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