London (AFP) – European stocks dipped Tuesday, shrugging off an earlier rebound in Asia, as London investors returned to action after a long holiday weekend.
The British capital’s main index lost about 0.1 percent in late morning deals after Monday’s bank holiday, while Frankfurt and Paris each lost 0.3 percent.
“Europe’s markets have got off to a quiet and slightly softer start today as UK and US markets return from a long weekend,” noted CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.
Asian stocks rose, led by a surge in Shanghai, while traders mulled a likely US interest rate rise this summer.
Mainland Chinese shares leapt by more than three percent and Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul also rallied, although trading volumes were low following a public holiday also on Wall Street.
The euro meanwhile slid against the dollar, as dealers digested news that eurozone inflation remained mired in negative territory, before this Thursday’s interest rate decision from the European Central Bank.
Eurozone consumer prices fell 0.1 percent in May after slipping 0.2 in April, the Eurostat statistics agency said.
The figures, dented by low energy prices, were in line with expectations.
“It was a muted morning for the European markets, with a mixed bag of eurozone data supressing investor interest,” added Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
The greenback was also buoyed by recent remarks from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen that the US could raise interest rates “in the coming months” if data from the world’s top economy continues to improve.
Traders saw this as a vote of confidence in the US economy, which has remained resilient even after the Fed raised rates for the first time in almost a decade in December.
“Ongoing expectations of a Fed rate hike this summer were reinforced by Yellen’s latest hawkish speech,” noted RIA Capital Markets analyst Nick Stamenkovic.
“By contrast, euro inflation remains very low, pointing to a continued easing bias by the ECB.
“Diverging policy stances between the Fed and ECB should weigh on the euro near-term.”
The prospect of an imminent US rate hike — traders now believe one is more likely than not in July — has seen the dollar post its best performance since September 2014 this month.
World oil prices meanwhile diverged ahead of a closely watched OPEC meeting in Vienna later this week, but held below the psychological level of $50 per barrel.
– Key figures around 1030 GMT –
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 6,264.70 points
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.3 percent at 10,302
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.3 percent at 4,517
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,081.80
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.98 percent at 17,234.98 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 3.34 percent at 2,885.542 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.9 percent at 20,815.09 (close)
New York was closed for a public holiday on Monday
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1129 from $1.1136 on Monday
Dollar/yen: UP at 111.01 yen from 111.07 yen