European indices rose for the fourth session in a row

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Germany's DAX rose 0.2% to hit its all-time high, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.17%, and France's CAC 40 rose 0.72%, hitting a record high since February 2020. Italy's FTSE MIB and Spain's IBEX 35 added 0.82% and 0.8%, respectively, with both indicators also ending the day at annual highs.

Following the March meeting, the ECB did not change the volume of the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP), leaving it at 1.85 trillion euros. Meanwhile, the regulator announced that it will significantly accelerate the purchase of assets under the PEPP in the coming quarter compared to the first months of this year.

The central bank will continue to buy back assets under this program, at least until the end of March 2022 and in any case until it considers that the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic is over. The ECB also intends to reinvest the proceeds from redeemable bonds under the PEPP at least until the end of 2023.

At the same time, the ECB, as expected, kept the base interest rate on loans at zero, the rate on deposits at minus 0.5%. The rate on margin loans remained at the level of 0.25%.

ECB President Christine Lagarde said during a press conference following Thursday's meeting that the eurozone economy is likely to decline in the first quarter of 2021, but the risks have become more balanced.

The markets on Thursday were also supported by the approval of the US House of Representatives of the US $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package, which was proposed by President Joe Biden, and the easing of fears about the acceleration of inflation.

Last weekend, the stimulus package was approved by the US Senate, making some changes to the draft of the House of Representatives. Biden is expected to sign the document on Friday.

European tech stocks rose on Thursday. ASML Holding NV rose 2.8%, Prosus NV rose 2.7%, Infineon Technologies AG rose 3.6%.

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc gained 0.7%. By the end of 2020, the British engineering holding increased its pre-tax loss 3.3 times and reduced revenue, while the company noted high uncertainty in short-term prospects.

The market value of WPP Plc increased by 0.2%. The British company, one of the largest advertising companies in the world, received a pre-tax loss in 2020 amid write-offs associated with the negative consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. However, WPP said it expects a strong recovery this year.

The capitalization of Assicurazioni Generali SpA increased by 0.9%. The Italian insurance company recorded a drop in net income in 2020 of almost 35%, but confirmed its financial targets for 2021.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc added 0.4%. Shell's new chairman will be Andrew McKenzie, ex-CEO of BHP Group Plc. In this position, he will replace Chad Holiday, who chaired Shell's board of directors for six years.

Marshalls Plc jumped 8.2%. The British building materials manufacturer recorded a 7% increase in sales in January-February, with orders up 12% over that period.

Hugo Boss AG shares were down 3.6%. The German apparel and accessories manufacturer suffered a net loss in 2020 amid weak sales due to restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pirelli & C SpA shares fell 0.9%. By the end of 2020, the Italian tire manufacturer reduced its net profit by almost 11 times, while its revenue fell by 19% amid falling demand, especially in the first half of the year.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company - www.instaforex.com

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