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Europe: Stocks open little changed
[LONDON] European equities opened steady as mining shares climbed amid higher copper prices and Asos Plc tumbled on a sales update.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.1 per cent. Rio Tinto Plc added 0.6 per cent, while retailer Asos slumped 12 per cent as it maintained full-year revenue growth guidance after a December profit warning. Evraz Plc fell 5.5 per cent after Billionaire Roman Abramovich and his partners sold 1.8 pe rcent of the steelmaker through an accelerated book build.
The FTSE 100 Index was little changed as Prime Minister Theresa May looked set to seek a long extension to the UK's European Union membership after the House of Commons speaker torpedoed her plan to win Parliamentary approval for her deal to leave the bloc.
European equities have rallied this year amid optimism that global central banks will remain dovish and the US and China will come to an amicable trade agreement. All eyes are on the monetary officials this week amid expectations that the Fed will point the way to just one rate hike in 2019 when it meets Wednesday.
"The European region lacks self-help and is thus overly dependent on the fate of the global cycle," said Barclays Bank Plc strategist Emmanuel Cau in a note. "However, we think sentiment on the region is too negative and believe the bar for positive surprises is not elevated in 2019 as political tail-risks are reducing, domestic drivers of activity remain well oriented, external demand is likely bottoming out and foreign exchange is turning into a tailwind for earnings."