UK favoured at expense of the Continent

European stockmarkets fell in April and inflation is becoming a bigger concern due to rising oil prices. The European Central Bank (ECB), however, left rates unchanged at its meeting on May 6th.

Sara Silano 20 May, 2004 | 5:39PM
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The MSCI Europe index lost 1.2%, in dollar terms, in April. Since the beginning of the year, the index is down 3.9%, as of May 18th. Thanks to defensive markets such as Britain and Italy, Europe as a whole performed slightly better than the global market over this period. The MSCI World index fell 2.2% in April and is down 3.1% so far this year.

A weak economic recovery, bad company news and rising oil prices are some of the reasons for the falling stockmarkets. Oil prices have soared, with Brent crude oil rising to nearly $38 dollar a barrel on May 17th. This is pushing up inflation and prices increased 0.7% in March in the euro-zone area, the highest rise since January 1999. Economists have increased their 2004 inflation estimates for the euro-zone to 1.7% from 1.6%.

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About Author

Sara Silano

Sara Silano  is Editorial Manager for Morningstar Italy