European markets see choppy trade as investors look to G20

<p>European markets switched between gains and losses on Friday as investors paused for breath and awaited the result of a pivotal G20 meeting in Washington […]</p>

European markets switched between gains and losses on Friday as investors paused for breath and awaited the result of a pivotal G20 meeting in Washington this weekend.

After yesterday’s sharp losses endured by global stock markets on fears of a worldwide slowdown in activity, investors are looking to the G20 to deliver credible coordinated action to help calm equity markets and maintain global growth. An unexpected communiqué from the G20 early this morning hinted as much that there will be action, and this was enough to kick markets off in positive territory, but investors are unwilling to bet too much on this until they hear exactly what action is being proposed.

Too often have the world’s leaders blown hot air rather than instil definitive action and so naturally there is a case of investors waiting to see what develops in what is turning out to be one of the most pivotal G20 meetings since the heights of the previous financial crisis.

By 10.30am (UK time) the FTSE 100 had gained a marginal 8 points, whilst the DAX was relatively flat and the French CAC Index had lost 0.3%.

The miners were the key drag on the FTSE 100 yet again, with the sector losing 1% to add to yesterday’s near double-digit percentage losses. With deep concerns over global growth and slowdown specifically in China, the world’s fastest emerging economy, both the prices of mining companies and copper have lost some significant ground over the last 48 hours and the freefall in prices has not stopped today. Vedanta Resources and Xstrata lost 3% by mid morning trade in London.

Topping the FTSE 100 however and adding some heavyweight support was Vodafone, whose shares rose 2% after UBS added the communications giant to its key European call list. Tesco shares also saw support, with shares rising 1% after Evolution Securities upgraded their view on the supermarket to ‘neutral’ from a previous ‘sell’ guidance.

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