Markets in Europe edged higher today after a long rally yesterday as investors await an announcement from President Mario Draghi of the ECB (European Central Bank) on further monetary stimulus. Analysts expect an extension of the ECB’s quantitative easing program by another six months but along with some signals that this monetary policy would not last forever. The ECB will present its latest rate decision at 12.45 p.m. GMT.
Europe’s indices are currently heading higher with Germany’s DAX adding 0.6 percent, U.K.’s FTSE 100 advancing by 0.2 percent, France’s CAC 40 climbing 0.3 percent and the Euro Stoxx edging 0.5 percent higher as of 8:30 GMT.
UniCredit has agreed to sell 32.8 percent of its Bank Pekao SA unit to Insurer PZU SA and a Polish development fund for $2.6 billion as part of the Italian lender’s plan to avoid bankruptcy. The Polish government will be the biggest Pekao shareholder, holding about a third of the stock, which will allow it to maintain control over the supervisory board and make changes in management.
UniCredit has also announced that it would sell its remaining 7.3 percent stake in Pekao on the market via secured equity-linked certificates. The Polish buyers will also purchase UniCredit’s holdings in three asset-management companies for about $153 million. This sales rampage comes in an effort to dispose of assets and weighing a capital increase to strengthen finances.
China’s exports gained in November after a seven month losing streak as a cheaper yuan aided foreign purchasing. Specifically, exports edged up 0.1% on-year, while imports rose 6.7%, leaving Beijing with a trade surplus of $44.6B. Stabilizing trade data suggests demand remains intact for now as China faces potential policy uncertainty in the U.S. In today’s Asian Markets most indices headed higher with Japan’s Nikkei closing 1.5 percent higher, China A50 ending the day 0.2 percent higher, Hang Seng closing 0.2 percent higher and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closing 1.2 percent higher. India’s Nifty 50 was last seen trading 1.7 percent higher at 8:03 GMT.