Thursday, January 27

Miners knock European stocks lower ahead of key central bank decisions

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European shares eased from record levels on Tuesday as traders eyed upcoming central bank meetings for clues on tapering and rate decisions, while a plunge in iron ore prices hurt miners.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.3% as of 0813 GMT, while Asian stocks were mixed on jitters ahead of US Federal Reserve and Bank of England meetings this week where the central banks could scale back pandemic-era stimulus.

Mining stocks led losses, down 2.4% on a fall in the iron ore market and lower copper prices.

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The STOXX 600 closed on Monday at a record high on the back of strong earnings and a jump in bank stocks fueled by expectations of a rate hike by the European Central Bank next year.

However, London-based Standard Chartered slumped 5.7% despite reporting a stronger-than-expected pre-tax profit for the third quarter helped by lower credit charges.

The world’s largest online betting group Flutter Entertainment dropped 6.7% after trimming its full-year outlook due to a run of unfavorable sports results and a temporary exit from the Netherlands.

In a bright spot, meal-kit delivery firm HelloFresh surged 12.6% after raising its sales forecast for 2021, helping Germany’s DAX stay afloat. (Reporting by Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)