Europe midday: Shares hold gains as investors eye Fed meeting
European shares were still higher at lunchtime as investors awaited any news from the US Federal Reserve meeting on tapering asset purchases.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.27% with most regional bourses higher. Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.16% despite an unexpected spike in inflation above the Bank of England’s 2% target in May. The standard CPI reading leapt from 1.5% to 2.1%, while the core figure surged from 1.3% to 2%.
Gains on the commodity-heavy index were boosted by a rise in in Brent crude to its highest since April 2019. Shares in BP and Shell were higher as a result.
"All eyes are on today’s Fed meeting and whether the central bank signals it’s thinking about tapering asset purchases any time soon. Minutes from the last meeting in April showed some policymakers are thinking about thinking about tapering – I think (Chairman Jerome) Powell will try to stick to that line here and prefer to wait until Aug/Sep to lay out a more formal timetable," said Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson.
In company news, shares in French retailer Colruyt fell to the bottom of the Stoxx, down 9.6% as the company pulled forward guidance as full year comparable revenue rose 1.7%.