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European stocks muted as Fed hits pause

by LLB Editor
15th Jun 23 9:49 am

The Fed’s decision to pause rates overnight was not unwelcome to markets but also not a surprise and that is reflected in the muted performance of European stocks this morning.

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “The London market may still be feeling a little bruised by the decision of soda ash producer WE Soda to pull its planned IPO. The market’s prestige has already been rocked by a series of companies moving their primary listings elsewhere or opting for another market in the first place.

“WE Soda’s move just adds to the impression of a moribund market in a state of decline, like a once gleaming mansion which is becoming hollowed out and decrepit.

“The new boss at Legal & General has a hard act to follow. Since Nigel Wilson was appointed to the top job in June 2012, Legal & General shares have outperformed its life insurance peers, Aviva and Prudential, to chalk up a total return of more than 200%.

“Wilson didn’t necessarily make a big splash but was busy in the background, turning Legal & General into a more focused and efficient business.

“This could provide his successor, Antonio Simoes, with the opportunity to take Wilson’s approach of focusing on long-term assets and so-called ‘inclusive capitalism’ to another level, but that comes with uncertainty too after more than a decade of leadership continuity.

“The initial market reaction betrays at least some investor nervousness, even though Wilson will stay on board until January to help smooth the succession.”

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