European Shares Slip, But Off Session Lows After Report of Possible Negative Deposit Rates in Europe
European stocks mostly eased despite a report that said the European Central Bank may move to negative deposit rates if needed to stimulate the economy.
Bloomberg News reported the ECB is considering a smaller-than-usual cut to its deposit rates that would bring the rate into negative territory for the first time. Policy makers would reduce the deposit rate to minus 0.1% from zero if warranted by the economic outlook, the report said.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a speech late Tuesday the Fed will probably maintain its target interest rate long after ending its monthly bond purchases.
Around the region, Bank of England said in its November policy-setting meeting members expressed uncertainty over the "durability of the recovery and the extent to which supply growth would keep pace with demand," while it also said it sees few inflationary risks.
In ADR news, Diageo plc's ( DEO ) CEO Ivan Menezes said uncertainties in the global economy will drag on sales growth.
Alcatel Lucent ( ALU ) announced a capital increase. Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. placed 660 million preferential subscription rights to the company's shares to institutional investors. The rights are linked to the network-equipment maker's American Depositary Receipts. On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, said Nokia ( NOK ) would not go ahead with a deal between the Nokia Solutions and Network business and ALU. Neither NOK nor ALU would comment to the WSJ.
GlaxoSmithKline PLC ( GSK ) said it has agreed to sell 28.2 million shares in South African company Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. (APN.JO) for 7.06 billion rand ($696.5 million), leaving it with 56.5 million shares, or 12.4% of the company.
The FTSE-100 was last down 0.25% at 6,681.08, the DAX up 0.1% at 9,202.07 and the CAC-40 down 0.09% at 4,268.37.