European Stocks Give Up Gains as Energy Shares Track Oil Losses

BlackRock Says Equities Rally Has Further to Run

European stocks ended the session little changed, wiping out earlier gains as oil prices slumped after data showing an unexpected rise in U.S. crude inventories.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost less than 0.1 percent at the close, as energy shares slid to offset gains in banks. The benchmark rose as much as 0.6 percent earlier after officials familiar with the matter said the European Central Bank is set to lower its inflation outlook.

  • Investors are awaiting key events Thursday including the ECB meeting, the U.K. general election and the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey.
  • The ECB’s draft projections show slower consumer-price growth in the three years through 2019 versus March forecasts, euro-area officials familiar with the matter said. That may mean “a more conservative tone” from the central bank on Thursday, said Nacho Lopez, an institutional sales officer at brokerage Ahorro Corp. in Madrid.
  • Banco Santander SA fell 0.9 percent after saying it plans to raise about 7 billion euros ($7.9 billion) of capital as part of a deal to acquire failing peer Banco Popular Espanol SA. Shares of Popular were suspended by Spain’s regulator.
  • The FTSE 100 Index fell 0.6 percent ahead of the June 8 vote. Polls are at odds on how close the election will be, with a Tory lead over Labour narrowing since the election was announced.
  • Real estate and utilities shares, seen as bond-proxy sectors, were among the best performers in the Stoxx 600 today. Chemical shares were dragged lower by losses in Covestro AG after Bayer AG cut its stake in the company.
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