Europe midday: Shares flat as Ashtead, Bayer & Julius Baer all tank

by | Nov 20, 2023

(Sharecast News) – European shares were flat on Monday as investors continued to look for signs of when central banks may start cutting rates as inflation showed signs of easing.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index had not moved the needle, with Britain’s FTSE 100 off 0.12%, while France’s CAC-40 bucked the trend with a 0.22% rise.

Investors will be scrutinising the minutes of the US Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting, due out on Tuesday.

In economic news, German producer prices fell by 11% year-on-year in October, in line with expectations. Meanwhile China’s central bank kept benchmark rates unchanged.

“While a ‘wait and see mood’ has descended, confidence is still quietly bubbling that interest rate cuts could be on the horizon,” said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter.

“Recent data showed more demand than expected seeping out of economies, which is increasingly weighed down by high borrowing costs. Concerns that there could be another grinch-like hike from the Fed in December have retreated and more bets are being placed that a reduction could come in the spring.”

In equity news shares in industrial equipment rental company Ashtead tanked as it cut annual profits guidance and revealed a massive $2bn depreciation charge.

German pharma giant Bayer also slumped by almost a fifth as it pulled trials of an anti-clotting drug due to lack of efficacy.

Swiss bank Julius Baer was in the red after issuing a profits warning as it booked an 82 million Swiss franc provision against its loan book.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for

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