European shares hit a new high on Thursday for the fourth straight session after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its widely expected decision to begin tapering its bond purchases in November, but signaled “patience” in raising interest rates.
The Bank of England is set to announce its interest rate decision later in the day.
Some economists are expecting a hike after the governor recently commented that the bank will have to act on inflation, which currently stands at 3.1 percent. Others are looking forward to a raise only in December.
The bank is also expected to retain the size of the total quantitative easing at GBP 895 billion. The BoE publishes its quarterly economic analysis and inflation projections along with the monetary policy statement.
The pan European Stoxx 600 rose half a percent to 483.74 after rising 0.4 percent on Wednesday.
The German DAX and France’s CAC 40 index were up around 0.4 percent each, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 0.3 percent.
Drug maker Roche rallied 2.5 percent after buying back its nearly one-third voting stake from rival Novartis for $20.7 billion. Novartis shares rose about 1 percent.
Dutch bank ING Group rose over 1 percent after its third-quarter earnings beat forecasts.
BT Group shares soared 5.7 percent in London. The telecommunications company confirmed its outlook for this year after reporting a 3 percent decline in first-half revenue.
Supermarket grocer Sainsbury’s tumbled 4.4 percent after warning of price pressures.
Medical products maker Smith & Nephew rallied 3 percent. The medical technology group said it would bring its orthopaedics and sports medicine franchises under one leadership team.
Societe Generale advanced 2.4 percent. The French lender posted better-than-expected earnings for the third quarter and also appointed a new financial chief.
Shares of Veolia Environnement jumped 3.5 percent. The resource management firm confirmed its fiscal 2021 EBITDA view after reporting higher third-quarter results.
German real estate investment trust Alstria Office jumped 17.5 percent after it announced a takeover bid from Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management.
Technology company Aixtron lost 3.4 percent after reaffirming its revenue guidance.
Reinsurer Hannover Re gained 1 percent after backing its FY21 view.
Logistics company Deutsche Post jumped 2.5 percent after lifting its EBIT outlook.
Commerzbank soared 5.4 percent. The lender expects a profit this year, defying analysts’ predictions for a 2021 loss.
In economic releases, investors shrugged off data from a purchasing mangers’ survey showing that growth in the euro zone services sector slowed in October.
The final reading for the Eurozone’s services PMI came in at 54.6 in October, well below the 56.4 registered in September and marginally lower than the 54.7 preliminary estimate.
German factory orders recovered in September but at a slower-than-expected pace, figures from Destatis revealed.
New orders grew 1.3 percent month-on-month in September, reversing an 8.8 percent decrease in August. However, this was slower than the 2 percent expansion expected by economists.
On a yearly basis, new order growth eased to 9.7 percent from 10.4 percent in August.
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