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Stocks in Europe were little changed from their highest level in more than five years as investors awaited the European Central Bank’s interest-rate decision. U.S. index futures and Asian shares slipped.
The ECB will announce its interest-rate decision at 1:45 p.m. in Frankfurt, with Draghi scheduled to hold a press conference 45 minutes later. Three of 70 economists’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg forecast the central bank will cut its benchmark interest rate to 0.25 percent from 0.5 percent. In a separate survey, eight of 38 economists predicted the ECB will lower rates in December.
In another decision at noon in London, the Bank of England will maintain its key interest rate at 0.5 percent and its asset-purchase target at 375 billion pounds ($603 billion), according to the median forecasts of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
HeidelbergCement slipped 4.2 percent to 56.65 euros. The world’s third-largest maker of cement said quarterly operating income before depreciation fell to 811 million euros ($1.1 billion) from 872 million euros a year earlier because of weaker currencies in emerging markets.
Bureau Veritas fell 3 percent to 21.84 euros. The world’s second-biggest goods-inspection company posted third-quarter sales of 969.7 million euros late yesterday, trailing the 992 million-euro average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Siemens advanced 3.6 percent to 95.89 euros after saying it will buy back 4 billion euros of shares over the next two years. Europe’s biggest engineering company reported fourth-quarter profit from continuing operations of 1.08 billion euros, surpassing the 997 million-euro average projection of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
FTSE 100 6,728.16 -13.53 -0.20%
CAC 40 4,280.29 -6.64 -0.15%
DAX 9,043.37 +2.50 +0.03%
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