Title: European Stocks Higher; Unscheduled ECB Meeting Boosts Sentiment
Jun 15, 2022 03:51AM ET
European stock markets rose Wednesday, boosted by the European Central Bank's announcement of an unscheduled meeting ahead of the Federal Reserve's meeting, which is expected to lead to an aggressive tightening of monetary policy to curb rapidly rising inflation.
At 3:50 a.m., the German DAX index was up 0.6 percent, the French CAC 40 up 0.6 percent and the British FTSE 100 up 0.3 percent.
Earlier in the session, the ECB assured that it will hold an unscheduled meeting of the Governing Council on Wednesday to discuss recent volatility.
The move followed a sharp rise in spreads between Germany's yields and those of southern countries with higher debt, particularly Italy, after ECB President Christine Lagarde presented no further details on what she might do to eliminate what she called "financial fragmentation" when the central bank begins raising interest rates in July.
On Monday night, Isabel Schnabel, a member of the ECB's executive board, made a strong case in a speech that the ECB needs to improve its communication. This meeting gives hope that the central bank will provide a clearer picture of the measures it can take to help highly indebted countries.
Outside Europe, market attention is focused on the conclusion of the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest two-day meeting, which is expected to result in a 75 basis point increase in the federal funds rate when monetary policy decisions are announced at 2 p.m. ET.
In corporate news, shares of H&M fell 3.4, despite the clothing chain forecasting better-than-expected second-quarter net sales growth.
Bloomsbury Publishing shares rose 1.7 when the world's fourth-largest automaker announced plans to cut costs by laying off some employees in the United States, and Bloomsbury Publishing shares rose 5.8 when Harry Potter Publishing reported a 40 percent increase in annual profits and raised its latest dividend.