Wednesday, 1 August 2012

European Stocks Little Changed After Bundesbank Comments

By Jonathan Morgan - Aug 1, 2012 12:49 PM GMT+0400

European stocks were little changed, paring earlier gains as Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said the European Central Bank shouldn’t exceed its mandate and a report showed U.K. manufacturing shrank. U.S. index futures fluctuated, while Asian shares retreated.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) increased 0.2 percent to 261.77 at 9:47 a.m. in London, having earlier risen as much as 0.5 percent. The measure has rallied 12 percent from this year’s low on June 4 as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande last week joined ECB President Mario Draghi in promising to do everything to protect the euro.
Visitors pass through the main entrance of the London Stock Exchange Group Plc's headquarters as the company holds its first ever charity trading day in London. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.2 percent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.3 percent. Markets in Switzerland are closed for a holiday.
The ECB’s independence “requires it to respect and not overstep its own mandate,” Weidmann said in an article published on the Bundesbank’s website today. “We are the largest and most important central bank in the Eurosystem and we have a greater say than many other central banks.”
A gauge of U.K. factory output, based on a survey by Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, fell to 45.4 last month from a revised 48.4 in June, Markit said today. That’s the lowest in 38 months. The median forecast of 30 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was 48.4. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morgan in Frankfurt
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at