European Stocks Advance Slightly on Thursday

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European Stocks Advance Slightly on Thursday

European shares edged up as ratings for utility stocks in the continent and German lender Commerzbank AG got downgraded, constraining gains for the Europe’s stock benchmark. But the continent’s main stock gauge remained at a six-year high.

The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 was up at 0.1% to 344.51, following earlier fluctuations between slight gains and losses. The gauge on Wednesday lost 0.1%, registering its first loss in six sessions, according to MarketWatch.

Stocks of Enel SpA and Endesa SpA were among the worst performers on Thursday, dropping 1.8% and 1.4% respectively. Enel’s shares were downgraded by Citi to “sell”. Citi said the company’s stock outlook will be hurt by dwindling inventory margins in Italy and Spain.

Endesa’s shares were also downgraded to sell on reduced earnings outlook.

Citi revised downwards Energias de Portugal rating to sell, triggering a stock decline of 0.9%.

Kingfisher PLC was the biggest decliner on the Stoxx 600 after dropping 4.9%. The retailer that deals in home improvements posted first-quarter trading figures showing a surge in total sales to $4.7 billion. The firm also mentioned poor consumer sentiment in France, one of its core markets.

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There was no trading in Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, Iceland and others as markets closed for holiday. The volume of shares traded on the Stoxx 600 index was about 38% below the average for 30 days.

“We have lower volumes today because of some markets being closed, so we may see a bit more volatility. Some investors seem to be nervous about the valuation of the market. The market wants to stay long, not go down,” Jacques Porta of Paris-based Ofi Gestion Privee told Bloomberg.

National main gauges advanced in three of the 10 markets in western-Europe that opened on Thursday. The FTSE 100 of UK added 0.3% while Germany’s DAX was almost flat. CAC 40 tumbled less than 0.1%.

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To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com