LONDON – European stock markets were down in morning trading on Thursday as investors awaited an announcement from the European Central Bank about new stimulus measures aimed at counteracting deflation in the euro zone.
The FTSE 100 in London sank 0.6 percent to 6,112.29, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris and the FTSE MIB in Milan, which were both down 0.3 percent to 4,414.68 and to 18,149.58, respectively. The DAX in Frankfurt dipped 0.1 percent to 9,713.63.
The euro traded at $1.10, while the pound fetched $1.42 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.00 at 12:15 p.m. CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were uneven, with the morning’s biggest gainers including Geox, 8.3 percent to 3.04 euros; Adidas, 3.5 percent to 99.65 euros; Tod’s, 1.2 percent to 73 euros; LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, 1.3 percent to 157.55 euros and Hugo Boss, 2.9 percent to 55.61 euros.
Burberry Group edged up 0.3 percent to 13.68 pounds after a dramatic few days. Earlier in the week the Financial Times had reported speculation about a mystery bidder for the company. On Thursday, the British paper quoted sources saying the bidder was actually a group of investors. Their shareholding, managed by HSBC, has since fallen to less than 5 percent with no bid forthcoming.
Among the morning’s biggest fallers was Yoox Net-a-porter Group, down 3 percent to 26 euros. The company on Wednesday had reported a 37.9 percent uptick in adjusted net income to 59.7 million euros, and an increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 25.7 percent to 133.1 million euros.
Other stocks that lost ground were Debenhams, 2.1 percent to 0.76 pounds, and Mulberry Group, 1.2 percent to 9.75 pounds. Carrefour declined 4.6 percent to 24.17 euros after earlier on Thursday reporting that net profit fell 17.3 percent in 2015 as it reorganized operations in various countries.
Later today the ECB will release economic growth figures while the bank’s chief Mario Draghi is set to reveal new stimulus measures aimed at battling deflation in the region.