Europe Stocks Little Changed on Mixed Earnings as ECB Stays Put

European Stocks Fluctuate as ECB Hold Rates Steady

European stocks were little changed amid mixed earnings reports as Mario Draghi said the European Central Bank will consider adding stimulus when it has a clearer picture of the impact of Brexit.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost less than 0.1 percent at the close, paring earlier losses of as much as 0.7 percent. While Draghi refrained from loosening policy after last month’s U.K. vote to leave the European Union, he stressed willingness and ability to use all available instruments if required. Economists forecast the ECB will most probably wait until its Sept. 8 meeting to extend quantitative easing.

“Though markets have held up better than expected, the mood is still very skeptical,” said Patrick Moonen, who helps oversee the equivalent of about $200 billion as a multi-asset strategist at NN Investment Partners. “Now it’s all about about holding on, not panicking and reassessing fundamentals. Company earnings could give us some direction here. But we’re all waiting for data that shows us whether economic growth will be affected by Brexit, and whether central banks really need to do more.”

A slew of earnings today gave investors a mixed picture of corporate health: ABB Ltd. rose 2.2 percent on better-than-forecast profit as the world’s biggest maker of power grids said China continued to invest in large projects. Hermes International SCA rose 4.6 percent after the maker of luxury handbags reported sales growth that topped projections. Deutsche Lufthansa AG tumbled 6 percent after cutting its 2016 profit forecast, while EasyJet Plc slid 5.3 percent after its revenue fell.

Europe’s benchmark has alternated between gains and losses in the past week, struggling to recover its post-Brexit losses. While stocks closed at a four-week high yesterday, boosted by positive corporate results, they remain below their level on the day of the referendum.

Among other shares active on corporate news, Yara International ASA jumped 5.5 percent after saying it began the third quarter with a stronger European order book from a year earlier. William Hill Plc jumped 11 percent after its board ousted Chief Executive Officer James Henderson. Tele2 AB lost 2 percent after its earnings trailed the average analyst estimate.

Miners advanced for the first time in three days, the best performers among Stoxx 600 groups.

The Stoxx 600 fell earlier after a report Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda dismissed the possibility of so-called helicopter money. BBC later said the interview was conducted in mid-June.

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