Stocks – Europe Mixed; DAX Ouperforms While Glencore Weighs on FTSE

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Investing.com – European stock markets traded mixed early Thursday, with strong industrial data supporting the German market while the Bank of England kept monetary policy unchanged, offering up a more pessimistic outlook.

At 3:55 AM ET (0755 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.6% higher, the CAC 40 in France fell 0.1% and the U.K.’s FTSE index was down 0.8%. 

In Germany, factory orders soared in June, climbing 27.9% data showed earlier Thursday, far above the 10% gain expected. This provided hope that Europe’s manufacturing engine may be recovering more quickly than expected from the coronavirus-related downturn.

The Bank of England maintained its key interest rate at 0.10% earlier Thursday, and kept its powder dry in terms of additional stimulus. The central bank also signaled rates would stay low for some time, saying it would take until the end of next year for the U.K. economy to make up the ground lost during the coronavirus pandemic.

Elsewhere, the earnings season remains in full flow. 

Glencore (LON:GLEN) stock fell 3.4% after the commodities giant said it wouldn’t be paying its deferred dividend after its net debt rose to $19.7 billion, well above a target of between $10 billion and $16 billion. 

The company had put the payment on hold earlier this year as it moved to protect itself from potential shocks from the coronavirus pandemic.

ITV (LON:ITV) dropped 3% after also halting its dividend as its profits tumbled, while AXA (PA:AXAF) dropped 3% after booking a 1.5 billion-euro charge for claims related to Covid-19.

On a more positive note, Credit Agricole (PA:CAGR), France’s second-largest listed bank, rose 2.2% despite reporting a 22% drop in quarterly profit, as it outperformed its French peers.

Lufthansa (DE:LHAG) climbed 3.3% despite posting an adjusted operating loss of 1.7 billion euros, the worst quarterly result in the company’s 67-year history. The embattled airline has already accepted a 9 billion euro state bailout.

Over in the U.S., investors are looking to Washington for a fresh virus relief bill, but top congressional Democrats and White House officials appeared to harden their stances on Wednesday. This comes as California reported its second-deadliest day from the Covid-19 virus and Florida’s case count topped 500,000.

Oil prices traded mixed Thursday. The Energy Information Administration reported a much bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude stockpiles of 7.37 million barrels late Wednesday, but the U.S. oil contract is struggling to maintain the associated positive momentum on lingering concerns of demand destruction.

U.S. Crude futures traded 0.3% lower at $42.05 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 0.1% to $45.20. 

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 0.4% to $2,044.40/oz, continuing to set record highs after breaking past the $2,000 an ounce mark, while EUR/USD traded at 1.1843, down 0.2%.

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