European shares tread water as investors assess Fed rate path

By Thomson Reuters Mar 26, 2024 | 3:43 AM

(Reuters) – European shares opened marginally lower on Tuesday, pulled down by miners and as investors gauged mixed messages from U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers that clouded the outlook for easing monetary policy conditions.

The pan-European STOXX 600 edged 0.1% lower, as of 0821 GMT.

The benchmark index was on course for its second quarterly gain, up 6.3% so far, underscored by the recent dovish pivots in global monetary policy.

Comments from Fed officials left doubts hanging over the timing of rate cuts. Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee said he had pencilled in three rate cuts this year, while Fed Governor Lisa Cook urged caution and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic re-iterated Friday remarks trimming his expectations to one cut.

Miners led sectoral declines with a 1% slump and were among top drags, as the sub-index tracked lacklustre copper prices. [MET/L]

Among major movers, shares of Atos fell nearly 8% after the French IT consulting firm said it was aiming to restructure its heavy pile of debt by July following a record annual loss.

A survey showed German consumer sentiment is expected to stay on its path of slow recovery in April as fewer households felt the need to save even as uncertainty about Germany’s economic development looms.

The German DAX 40 index was flat at 18,263.03.

(Reporting by Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)