Fundamental Comment

European shares rise slightly, ECB under scrutiny

European shares rise slightly, ECB under scrutiny

European shares rose slightly in early trading on Monday, while Italian shares offset part of their losses after a sell-off driven by political tensions, ahead of the ECB monetary policy meeting on Thursday.

Last week, European shares ended on a marginal rise on hopes that the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates by 25 basis points next week.

Euro STOXX 50 has increased by about 0.19 percent to 3,486.65, while the Euro STOXX 600 edged up by 0.10 percent to 387.64, as of 9:13 GMT.

Italian shares performed better than the rest of their European counterparts after experiencing their worst days in the months on Friday due to political tensions that sparked on speculations of early elections that fueled investors’ uncertainty.

Italy’s FTSE MIB surged 0.26 percent to 21,693.02.

Energy shares led the advance, following the rise in crude prices on the back of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Investors will carefully watch the ECB meeting this week, as policymakers may announce a second bond-buying programme in November 2019.

Capital markets also pricing more than 50% a 10-basis point rate cut during the European central bank meeting later this week.

Some analysts, however, expect that the Fed's statement next week is likely to determine whether the stock recovery since May will continue.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which measures the performance of major six currencies, rose 0.08 percent to 96.890, was taking advantage of the standoff in the Strait of Hormuz, the most important waterway for oil trade.

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