European Shares Mixed Ahead Of ECB Decision

European stocks were mixed on Thursday after a highly anticipated U.S. inflation report cemented the case for a Federal Reserve rate pause next week.

The monetary policy announcement from the European Central Bank is due later in the day.

Markets widely expect the ECB to hike the key rate by a final quarter point despite lingering growth worries.

The ECB has raised rates by a cumulative 375 basis points with hikes in every policy session of the current tightening cycle that began in July last year.

The governing council of the ECB releases the statement at 8.15 am ET and ECB President Christine Lagarde is set to hold the press conference at 8.45 am. The ECB will also publish staff macroeconomic projections.

The pan European STOXX 600 was marginally higher at 454.37 after declining 0.3 percent on Wednesday.

The German DAX slipped 0.2 percent and France’s CAC 40 shed 0.3 percent while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 0.6 percent.

Air Liquide SA, a French supplier of industrial gases and services, was little changed after it announced an investment of over 400 million euros for the construction of Normand’Hy electrolyzer with a capacity of 200 MW.

Trainline jumped more than 13 percent. The British online rail ticket seller has unveiled a £50 million share buyback after reporting faster-than-expected growth in the first half of its financial year.

Online trading platform IG Group added 1.4 percent after reporting a marginal rise in Q1 revenue.

LondonMetric Property was slightly lower. The real estate investment trust has announced the sale of a portfolio of four multi-let industrial estates, to Hines, for 40.5 million pounds, reflecting a NIY of 6.2 percent.

Automakers BMW, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen and Renault dropped 1-2 percent after Beijing blasted the launch of a probe by the European Commission into China’s electric vehicle (EV) subsidies as protectionist.

Thyssenkrupp fell 1.5 percent after an announcement that the conglomerate would reorganize its portfolio and combine business units with key technologies useful for the decarbonization of industry.

Nordex SE, a turbine manufacturer, jumped over 4 percent after it obtained an order from renewable energy company, BayWa r.e to supply and install 24 N163/5.X turbines from the Delta4000 series in Spain.

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