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HomeEuropeEurope Stocks Close Slightly Higher as UK Homebuilders Fall; China Stimulus Underwhelms

Europe Stocks Close Slightly Higher as UK Homebuilders Fall; China Stimulus Underwhelms

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European stock markets closed marginally higher on Monday after slipping to a six-week low at the end of last week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended 0.1% higher, with sectors and major bourses pointing in opposite directions. Auto stocks led gains, up 1.1%, as construction and material stocks dipped 0.6%.

China’s central bank cut its one-year loan prime rate by less than expected Monday, and left its five-year rate unchanged. Economists expected a 15 basis point cut to both due to default risks in the embattled property sector, and raised questions over whether China will deliver a stimulus-led economic turnaround.

Zoe Gillespie, chartered wealth manager at RBC Brewin Dolphin, said the moves showed a “lack of ambition,” but that China faced a “tough play.”

“It’s difficult for the Chinese authorities to stimulate with the high levels of debt, but it’s also difficult when you look at the currency risk as well,” she told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe.”

“You’ve got the U.S. raising rates, dollar strengthening… There’s a lot for central policymakers to do to their protect the currency and also stimulate the economy.”

The People’s Bank of China last week enacted surprise cuts to its short- and medium-term lending rates as data highlighted weak credit growth and deflation risks.

The Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole symposium begins Thursday, and investors will be hunting for clues on the course of interest rates.

Asia-Pacific stock markets traded mixed Monday, while the S&P 500 edged higher as Wall Street tried to recover from another weekly decline.

Source : CNBC

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