European shares edge higher in pre-holiday trading

on Dec 19, 2019
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  • European shares inched up in pre-holiday trading. Markets were quiet, aside from a handful of corporate updates
  • All eyes turn to the Bank of England's monetary policy decision, due at 1200 GMT. The meeting is BoE's last big thing this year.
  • Investors have largely shrugged off a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach Trump.

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On Thursday, European shares inched up in pre-holiday trading. Markets were quiet, aside from a handful of corporate updates.

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The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.2% by 0821 GMT with media, utilities, and healthcare sectors leading gains.

Now, all eyes turn to the Bank of England’s monetary policy decision, due at 1200 GMT. The meeting is BoE’s last big thing this year.

Markets expect the BoE policymakers to move the needle on rates. Swedish Central Bank is coming out with a 25 basis point rate hike. It becomes the first in Europe to pull borrowing costs from the sub-zero territory.

Investors shrug off Trump impeachment

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Investors have largely shrugged off a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach Trump. They don’t expect the Republican-controlled Senate to vote against Trump.

Swiss specialty chemicals Clariant rose 2.9% after saying it was selling a unit to U.S.-based PolyOne Corp for $1.6 billion.

European chipmakers Infineon Technologies and STMicroelectronics rose about 0.3% after U.S. rival Micron Technology said it expected a recovery in 2020 after a “cyclical bottom” in the second quarter.

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