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    European stocks were little changed | 19.02.2015

     

    European stocks were little changed near a seven-year high, as an advance in Greek equities offset a decline in energy shares.

    The Stoxx 600 rose on Wednesday to the highest level since November 2007 on speculation Greece will reach a deal. The gauge has surged 11 percent this year as the European Central Bank announced quantitative easing last month.

    "The levels we see in the market right now are very elevated," said Heinz-Gerd Sonnenschein, a strategist at Deutsche Postbank AG in Bonn, Germany. "It was a strong start to the year, so it's time to take a breather now. Some investors are getting cold feet about oil stocks. Oil at $100 is a very long way away. Uncertainty regarding negotiations in Greece will keep us moving sideways in the short term."

    U.S. and French officials called on Greece to compromise and the ECB granted the nation's lenders a small increase in emergency funds. Euro-area creditors want Greece to extend terms of its current aid package linked to austerity, a move that the country's government has opposed.

    The ECB will publish on Thursday a summary of its monetary-policy meeting for the first time. The document will cover the Jan. 22 deliberations behind its decision to start buying government bonds.

    Among stocks moving on corporate news, Centrica Plc tumbled 7.9 percent after cutting its dividend as it swung to a loss. Air France-KLM Group slipped 5.5 percent after saying profit fell last year.

    Rexam Plc rallied 3.5 percent as Ball Corp. offered to buy its rival beverage-can maker for 628 pence a share. The London-based company also reported 2014 pretax profit that beat analysts' projections.

    Randstad Holding NV rose 4.1 percent after saying organic sales growth accelerated in January.

     

    Cap Gemini SA gained 5.9 percent after posting full-year net income that exceeded analysts' projections.

    FTSE 100 6,894.54 -3.54 -0.05%

    CAC 40 4,820.54 21.51 0.45%

     

     

    DAX 10,989.6 28.60 0.26%


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