European shares hover near record high
European shares hovered near their record high on Wednesday, with financial and industrial stocks doing the heavy lifting. However, the main equity index held off record highs on concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve could flag later in the day when it plans to start handing down its stimulus.
The pan-European STOXX 600 gained 0.2%. If the index is able to hold its gains up to the closing of trading hours, it will mark its longest winning streak in three-and-a-half years.
The benchmark index has now soared for five straight weeks as investors were positive that a steady vaccination programme would jumpstart regional economic growth. However, a recent spike in inflation has triggered concerns of an earlier-than-expected tightening in global monetary policy.
Following the European Central Bank’s dovish signals last week, the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday is expected to at least flag the pending start of talks about when and how to exit from crisis-era policies put in place at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Technology shares, however, dipped 0.2% as SAP dropped 0.9%, hit possibly by a disappointing profit forecast from U.S. software rival Oracle Corp.