European shares were flat, after a monthly gain, as European Union governments considered additional sanctions on Russia and as the European Central Bank meeting this week remained in investor’s focus.
Novartis AG added the most since March following its announcement that its experimental heart drug performed better than standard medication. Iliad SA dropped 4% after sources aware of the on-goings said the firm is engaging private-equity companies to make an enhanced overture for T-Mobile US Inc.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased less than 0.1% to 342.18 as of 11:02 am in London. The index advanced 1.8% in August as ECB President Mario Draghi indicated central bank officials are contemplating bond purchases to tame consistently low pace of price hikes.
“Markets are choosing to wait and see what happens at this week’s ECB meeting. Investors are expecting a strong move from the ECB because Draghi said he will do something to help growth. The continued conflict in Ukraine, with the EU considering more sanctions, does not help markets,” Jacques Porta of Paris-based OfiGestionPrivee told Bloomberg
Trading in stocks listed in Stoxx 600 was 25% below the average for the past 30 days at this time of the day.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Sunday asked the ECB to do more check the strengthening euro. Lenders including Nomura International Plc and UniCredit SpA said the possibility of the central bank introducing asset-buying has increased after Draghi’s talk on Aug. 22. The ECB will not alter its interest rates at the next meet on Sept. 4, a Bloomberg survey showed.
The European Commission has been instructed by EU leaders to work out proposals for the next round of measures targeting Russia’s energy and finance industries within a week.
According to CNBC, the DAX of Germany was unchanged and France’s CAC 40 Index dropped about 0.17%in morning trading.
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