European Stocks Mixed Ahead Of EC Summit

 
on October 18 2012 3:57 AM

European markets were mixed Thursday as investors were waiting for the results of the European Council summit starting in Brussels later in the day. The summit is expected to announce measures to control the debt crisis affecting the euro zone.

The French CAC 40 index was down 0.25 percent or 8.73 points to 3518.77. Shares of Pernod-Ricard SA fell 3.27 percent and those of Danone SA declined 0.69 percent.

London’s FTSE 100 index marginally rose 0.04 percent or 2.47 points to 5913.38. Shares of Kazakhmys Plc advanced 2.17 percent and those of Rio Tinto Plc were up 1.33 percent.

The German DAX 30 index was marginally up 0.07 percent or 5.46 points to 7400.01. Shares of ThyssenKrupp AG rose 0.99 percent and shares of Commerzbank AG gained 0.32 percent.

Spain's IBEX 35 was down 0.36 percent or 29.60 points to 8098.60. Shares of Mapfre SA fell 1.56 percent and those of Bankinter SA dropped 1.34 percent.

The two-day EC summit is expected to announce measures to bring down the borrowing costs faced by the euro zone economies.

“The official agenda looks fairly broad-based and ambitious (implementation of the banking union; discussion of the Van Rompuy proposals in terms of political and fiscal integration; adjusting the EU Budget for 2014-2020; assessing the progress of the Jobs and Growth Compact). Overall, we do not expect any decision with regards crisis-fighting measures in Spain, Greece or Cyprus, but incremental progress on various institutional issues under discussion,” Credit Agricole said in a note.

Meanwhile, Standard & Poor's Wednesday lowered the debt rating of Cyprus to B from BB, along with a negative outlook. S&P cited that the inactivity from the side of the government to take policy measures to reduce the budget deficits as a reason for this decision.

Cyprus, which sought bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in June, has not yet received the rescue package much needed to revive its economic and financial stability. Cypriot Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly said Wednesday that a positive conclusion to its request for aid was expected. The Troika, consisting of the European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank, is in talks with the government of Cyprus to take a decision on the bailout package.

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