LONDON: Europe’s main stock markets steadied on Tuesday following strong gains the previous session, as investors digested news that German business confidence dipped slightly below last month’s record high.
In late morning trades, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 was up 0.2 percent compared with the close on Monday.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index was flat and the Paris CAC 40 dipped 0.1 percent.
Leading indices in the single-currency area had risen by around 1.5 percent on Monday as US President Donald Trump’s tax-cutting plans moved a step closer.
On Tuesday in Germany, Europe’s top economy, the Ifo economic institute revealed that its business climate index hit 117.2 points in December, slightly below November’s historic 117.5.
It comes as Germany remains mired in a political stalemate, with Chancellor Angela Merkel still trying to form a new government after coalition talks collapsed last month.
Most Asian stock markets extended gains Tuesday, taking a lead from fresh record-highs overnight on Wall Street where a long-awaited tax-cut bill is expected to be passed this week.
After months of uncertainty, the controversial fiscal reforms could be on Trump’s desk for signature before year-end, giving the president his first major legislative victory.
“As the US government could be voting on the tax proposals this week, dealers are starting to doubt how much economic growth will added by the tax cuts,” causing the dollar to fall back, said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
The dollar, which rallied Friday on news that Republican senators had the votes to pass the tax bill, struggled against the yen, euro and pound in trading on Tuesday.
It lost also more than one percent against the South African rand as investors cheered news that the businessman Cyril Ramaphosa had been elected president of the ruling ANC, putting him on course to be the country’s next leader.
The rand had already surged 2.8 percent on Monday, while the win has led to hopes that market-friendly Ramaphosa can help to turn around South Africa’s struggling economy.
Elsewhere Tuesday, bitcoin dropped to $18,574.06 from $18,669.80 around 2200 GMT on Monday.
Meanwhile, a South Korean exchange trading bitcoin and other virtual currencies declared itself bankrupt on Tuesday after being hacked for the second time this year, highlighting the risk over cryptocurrencies as they soar in popularity.
The Youbit exchange said it had lost 17 percent of its assets in the attack on Tuesday.—AFP