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European shares dip ahead of ECB policy decision.

News Team

European shares slipped on Tuesday ahead of this week’s U.S. inflation data and a European Central Bank monetary policy decision, while diagnostics firm Biomerieux was set for its best day in more than two years on a new strategic plan.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.2%, as of 0838 GMT, after notching its strongest session in more than two weeks on Monday.

Traders kept away from big bets ahead of the U.S. inflation data on Wednesday and the ECB’s decision on Thursday that could determine the outlook for interest rate cuts.

“Policymakers (in Europe) will be quite relieved to see that things are back on track … so they can afford to wait, which is why we think an April rate cut is unlikely,” said Maximilian Kunkel, CIO Germany and GFIW at UBS Global Wealth Management.

On the day, eurozone banks were little changed after an ECB survey showed lenders lowered the bar on mortgage approvals last quarter for the first time in over two years. Still, demand for credit kept falling amid high borrowing costs and a stagnant economy.

Data overall has not indicated a collapse in lending and economic activity in the eurozone pointed to stabilisation, Kunkel said.

BP (NYSE: BP) rose 1.8%, steering a 0.8% gain in the oil and gas sector, after the UK oil giant forecast first-quarter upstream production of both oil and gas as well as low-carbon energy to be higher than the previous three months.

The basic resources sector climbed nearly 1.4% as Shanghai copper prices traded at record highs on optimism around positive factory data out of major economies.

Biomerieux jumped 7.4% to the top of the benchmark index after the French company reported upbeat first-quarter organic growth and presented a new strategic plan.

Amplifon dropped 4.4% to the bottom of the benchmark index after competition authority AGCM said the retail market for hearing aids in Italy lacks transparency on pricing and services offered.

Atos dropped 6.5% in volatile trade after the struggling French IT consulting firm posted an update on its financial restructuring plan.

Fincantieri gained 5.3%, the highest since June 2021, after the Italian shipbuilder finalised a deal with Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE: NCLH) to supply four new cruise ships.

Source: https://www.investing.com/news/economy/european-shares-dip-ahead-of-ecb-policy-decision-bp-shines-3370621