Europe Markets: After U.S. tech gains, European stocks pause as ECB decision awaits

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(FILES) This file photo taken on March 12, 2020 shows flags of the European Union fluttering 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 steady on Thursday, ahead of a European Central Bank decision and press conference in which expectations are for the central bank to raise concerns about the rise of the euro.

Up 1.6% on Wednesday, the Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, -0.06% was little moved at 369.70.

U.S. stocks, particularly in the tech sector, broke a losing run on Wednesday, as the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +2.70% rallied 2.7%. U.S. stock futures ES00, -0.04% were modestly higher Thursday.

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

Attention also is in London, where an emergency meeting is being called on the U.K. decision to unilaterally amend its withdrawal agreement. Bloomberg News reported the European Union was considering a lawsuit.

Wm Morrison Supermarkets MRW, -3.79% slumped 3.7% after reporting a 25% slump in first-half adjusted pretax profits, with the company flagging higher costs and reduced consumer demand for fuel. “Some traders will be wondering if Morrisons can’t post a rise in profit when a pandemic has driven up demand, when will they register a rise in earnings,” said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Chemicals group Akzo Nobel AKZA, +3.16% rose 4% as the company said revenue for the third quarter will be close to last year’s levels. It reported strong decorative paint demand in Europe and South America.

Games Workshop GAW, +16.33%, which makes miniature wartime figures, jumped 13% after saying its performance for the quarter ending Aug. 30 was ahead of its expectation

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, MarketWatch.com – Top Stories reports

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