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Europe Stocks Cap Fourth Quarterly Gain, With an Eye on Biden Plan

This content was published on March 31, 2021 - 16:07

(Bloomberg) -- European equities dipped, hovering near a 13-month high as investors hit the brakes on a cyclical rally before U.S. President Joe Biden unveils a $2.25 trillion stimulus plan.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.2% at the close, though still posting a fourth straight quarterly advance. Utilities and tech shares gained, while banks and insurers fell.

European stocks are poised to enter April, historically the best month for returns, with the Stoxx 600 within 1% of a record high. U.S. 10-year Treasury yields inched up as Biden is set to provide details of the infrastructure investment plan.

“Investors will likely be on muted mode awaiting clarity and details on Biden’s spending plans, which are due later today,” said Stephane Ekolo, global equity strategist at TFS Derivatives. “Also of interest will be the banking sector -- following the debacle of Archegos,” he added.

Among notable movers, CD Projekt SA slid 13% after the computer-game maker’s strategy update failed to offer reassurance that it will be able to monetize its Cyberpunk franchise in the long term.

The Stoxx 600 has rallied 7.7% in the first quarter of the year, helped by this month’s best performance since November. Bets on a vaccine-fueled economic recovery have sent cyclicals surging in the first three months of 2021, with autos, banks and travel and leisure shares up around 20%.

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