After U.S. tech gains, European stocks pause as ECB decision waits

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(FILES) This photo taken on March 12, 2020 shows flags of the European Union waving in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany.

daniel roland / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

European stocks were flat on Thursday, ahead of a decision by the European Central Bank and a press conference in which expectations are for the central bank to voice concerns about the rise of the euro.

Up 1.6% on Wednesday, the Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP,
-0,43%
was little moved at 369.70.

US stocks, especially in the tech sector, broke a series of losses on Wednesday, as the Nasdaq Composite COMP,
+ 2,70%
rallied 2.7%. ES00 US equity futures contracts,
-0,43%
were slightly higher on Thursday.

The ECB decision is expected at 1:45 p.m. Central European time (7:45 a.m. Eastern time), although analysts are focusing on the press conference with President Christine Lagarde at 2:30 p.m.

Attention is also in London, where an emergency meeting is called on the UK’s decision to unilaterally change its withdrawal agreement. Bloomberg News reported that the European Union was considering legal action.

Wm Morrison MRW Supermarkets,
-4,25%
fell 3.7% after reporting a 25% decline in first-half adjusted pre-tax profits, with the company reporting rising costs and reduced consumer demand for fuel. “Some traders will wonder if Morrisons may not post higher earnings when a pandemic has driven up demand, when will they register higher earnings,” said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Akzo Nobel AKZA chemical group,
+ 3,23%
rose 4% as the company said third quarter revenue would be close to last year’s levels. He reported a strong demand for decorative painting in Europe and South America.

GAW games workshop,
+ 11,86%,
which gives wartime miniature figures, jumped 13% after saying his performance for the quarter ending Aug. 30 was ahead of expectations

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