Stocks decline ahead of Bernanke testimony

EU leaders meet in Brussels today where they may step up efforts against tax evasion

Stocks in Europe declined from their highest level in almost five years before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S Bernanke testifies on the outlook for the world’s biggest economy.

Stocks in Europe declined from their highest level in almost five years before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S Bernanke testifies on the outlook for the world’s biggest economy.

Wed, May 22, 2013, 10:35

Stocks in Europe declined from their highest level in almost five years before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S Bernanke testifies on the outlook for the world’s biggest economy.

Wm Morrison Supermarkets lost 2.2 per cent after UBS placed shares on behalf of an institutional seller.

Pandora tumbled 10 per cent after Prometheus cut its holding in the Danish maker of jewellery.

Metro jumped 5.7 per cent after Morgan Stanley recommended that investors buy shares in Germany’s largest retailer for the first time in a decade.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.4 per cent to 308.68 at 9.58am in London.

The equity benchmark closed at the highest level since June 2008 yesterday.

The gauge has still rallied 95 per cent since March 2009 as European Central Bank president Mario Draghi pledged to preserve the euro and the Fed embarked on three rounds of stimulus.

Contracts on the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index added 0.2 per cent, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.1 per cent. Mr Bernanke is scheduled to speak at 10am in Washington.

The central bank plans to publish the minutes of its policy meeting held April 30 to May 1 at 2pm.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis president James Bullard said that the Fed should continue its bond buying because it’s the best available option for policy makers to boost growth.

Speaking in Frankfurt as markets closed yesterday, Mr Bullard also said Europe risks an extended period of low growth and deflation like Japan’s unless the European Central Bank acts with an aggressive quantitative-easing program.

The European Union’s leaders meet at a summit in Brussels today, where they may step up efforts against tax evasion.

Bloomberg