European Stocks Little Changed After Biggest Retreat in a Month

FTSE Heads for Ninth Straight Record Close

European stocks were little changed as gains in commodity producers offset losses in utilities and insurance companies.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.1 percent at the close, erasing an earlier slide of as much as 0.4 percent. A rotation out of defensive shares into cyclical companies resumed -- miners surged the most in a month after data showed China’s factory prices rose at the fastest pace in more than five years in December.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index closed at a record for a ninth straight day, making it a record streak of all-time highs. Coming on the heels of its best annual performance relative to the Stoxx 600 in three decades, the FTSE 100 has climbed 1.9 percent in 2017 as a further slump in sterling boosted its exporters, and miners rallied.

  • Advances in U.K. grocers also supported the Stoxx 600 today, with Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc up 3.6 percent as it raised its profit forecast after posting its best Christmas sales in seven years. Tesco Plc jumped 6 percent.
  • “A market backdrop where risk aversion continues to decrease in conjunction with falling stock correlations suggest that this may be the start to an improving environment for stock selection,” Citigroup Inc. strategists wrote in a note dated Jan. 9.
  • The Stoxx 600’s relative strength index remains below 70 after yesterday dropping below the overbought level, which to some technical analysts signals further declines.
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