February 10, 2014 / 3:55 PM / 4 years ago

European share rally loses steam; Yellen's testimony eyed

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 pct, Euro STOXX 50 flat

* Euro STOXX 50 halted by key resistance level

* Latam-exposed Spanish stocks under pressure again

* Despite global outflows, Europe stocks still in vogue

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Feb 10 (Reuters) - European stocks steadied on Monday in thin trade, taking a breather after a sharp two-session bounce, as investors awaited clarification on the pace at which the U.S. Federal Reserve plans to further trim stimulus.

Spanish blue-chips Banco Santander, BBVA and Telefonica - which have a huge exposure to Latin America - were down 1.4-1.9 percent, with traders citing worries over local currencies such as the Brazilian real, which dropped 0.6 percent on Monday.

At 1520 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.1 percent, at 1,301.65 points, following a 2.2 percent rally in two sessions.

The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was flat, at 3,038.80 points, after failing to break above a key resistance level at 3,047.84 points representing its 50-day moving average, sending a bearish technical signal.

The new head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, is to deliver her first testimony to the House of Representatives on Tuesday and the Senate on Thursday.

The U.S. central bank has trimmed its asset purchases twice since December, encouraged by momentum in the economy in late 2013. But after mixed macro data including Friday’s lower-than-expected payrolls and turmoil in emerging markets, investors will be looking for clues about weither the Fed could pause its stimulus withdrawal.

“Everyone is awaiting Yellen’s testimony and the big focus will be on her interpretation of the latest jobs figures,” FXCM analyst Vincent Ganne said.

On Friday, data showed U.S. employers hired fewer workers than expected in January - non-farm payrolls rose by 113,000, well below the consensus of 185,000 - although the unemployment rate hit a five-year low of 6.6 percent.

“In terms of trends right now, the technical rebound of the past few days is running out of steam, and everyone has in mind the record weekly outflows from U.S. and emerging markets, so things are quite fragile,” Ganne said.

Despite last week’s tentative rebound in global stocks, investors sold out of equity funds at a fast pace during the week, with outflows reaching a record $28.3 billion, Nomura analysts said in a note, citing data from EPFR Global.

“Last week saw a powerful reversal in the trend of asset class flows established since June of last year,” they said.

Among the few bright spots were European equity funds, which enjoyed $1.27 billion in net inflows last week, their 32nd consecutive week of net inflows, Nomura analysts said.

London’s FTSE 100 index was up 0.2 percent and Frankfurt’s DAX index up 0.1 percent.

Paris’s CAC 40 was up 0.4 percent, boosted by a brisk rally in one of France’s biggest blue-chips, L‘Oreal . Shares in the world’s no.1 cosmetics maker gained 4.5 percent on rising expectations that the firm will buy back its shares owned by Nestle.

Nokia also featured among the top gainers, up 4 percent after the firm said it has settled a technology licensing dispute with HTC.

Table on biggest exposure to Latam:

Europe bourses in 2014:

Asset performance in 2014:

Today’s European research round-up

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below