European stock benchmarks were little changed as investors awaited the European Central Bank’s policy meeting, when they’ll look for clues as to when the institution may begin curtailing its stimulus measures.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose fractionally to 363.1 at 08:14 a.m., with the banking sector climbing 0.6 percent. The Stoxx 600 has been moving sideways since the start of the year.
- ECB President Mario Draghi may sound slightly hawkish at the press conference, following an unexpectedly strong acceleration in consumer-price inflation in December, economists and strategists say in notes to clients. Click here for a preview.
- Bulls in American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) weekly survey fall to 37%, the lowest level since the Nov. 3 week before the U.S. election. For Stephane Barbier de la Serre, a strategist at Makor Capital Markets in Geneva, the survey is a relatively bullish signal in the short term, as it shows that sentiment is not at ’euphoria’ levels, he wrote in emailed comments.
* Goldman Sachs equity strategists expect European earnings to beat forecasts in current season as nearly all the factors tracked by the strategists have been strongly positive since the last quarter, according to note.