LONDON – Europe’s major markets seesawed in late morning trading on Thursday, with investors expecting the unveiling of the U.S. tax bill and the name of the next Federal Reserve chairman. They were also anticipating the Bank of England to raise historically low interest rates for the first time in a decade. The increase, set to be announced at 1:00 p.m. CET, should bump interest rates to 0.5 percent from 0.25 percent.
The FTSE 100 in London advanced 0.3 percent to 7,512.16, followed by the FTSE MIB in Milan, 0.2 percent to 23,031.32. The DAX in Frankfurt and the CAC 40 in Paris were both down 0.2 percent, to 13,433.58 and to 5,505.36, respectively.
The euro traded at $1.16, while the pound fetched $1.33 at 12:30 p.m. CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the morning’s biggest gainers including Tesco, 1.2 percent to 1.81 pounds, and Hugo Boss, 5.4 percent to 79.34 euros, after the company raised full-year forecasts slightly as the German group reported flat earnings for the third quarter. Asos.com was up 2.7 percent to 57.25 pounds, while Marks & Spencer Group rose 1.2 percent to 3.33 pounds.
Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Aeffe, 1.5 percent to 2.43 euros, and Moncler, 1.4 percent to 24.38 euros.