European equities were slightly lower on Thursday morning as investors monitored a range of corporate earnings and reacted to the Bank of England’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell by around 0.3% in early trading, with main sectors and exchanges facing in opposite directions. Basic resources have slipped 1.7% to bring losses while industrials have made gains of 0.4%.
It comes after futures contracts linked to major US stock indices closed on Wednesday, while investors monitored the continuing disagreement among lawmakers about a new potential stimulus package. The administration of President Donald Trump threatened Wednesday to act alone to provide relief to the coronavirus after another day of talks on Capitol Hill failed to bring about an agreement.
Asia Pacific equities traded on Thursday as investors monitored tensions between the United States and China, the world̵
In Europe, the Bank of England said on Thursday that it will keep key interest rates at an all-time low of 0.1% and left its bond purchase program size unchanged at £ 745 billion ($ 981 billion). .
The pound rose 0.4% to a new five-month high of $ 1.317 shortly after the announcement.
The BOE said that the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to drop 20% in the second quarter compared to the last three months of last year. The central projection of the Monetary Policy Committee predicted that UK GDP would continue to recover beyond the short term, but warned that the economy is unlikely to exceed its pre-pandemic level until the end of 2021.
Looking at the individual stocks, the French diagnostic company Eurofins rose to the top of the European benchmark during morning exchanges. The shares of the Paris-listed stock rose more than 15.8% after the company launched a new low-cost product to detect coronavirus.
Meanwhile, British engineer Meggitt has fallen to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 amid speculation that the company may need to gather new equity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The company said in a statement Thursday that its financial and liquidity position has remained solid, Reuters said. London-listed stocks slid over 7%.