European stocks are widening, with the Stoxx 600 losing ground after five consecutive bullish sessions as investors adopt a wait-and-see attitude ahead of the EU summit. which will be held with the participation of US President Joe Biden.
The European Council will discuss the Russian military offensive against Ukraine, security and defense, energy, while on the first day of the summit it will participate together with EU leaders. and the American president.
EU leaders have already agreed on the phasing out of Russian gas, oil and coal imports as soon as possible. An agreement at the summit on an immediate end to imports from Russia, as the US and the UK have already done, does not seem very likely, given Europe’s heavy dependence on Russian energy products and the lack of alternatives that could fill the gap. German Chancellor Olaf Solz said today that Europe would end its energy dependence on Russia, but that doing so overnight would lead to a recession, endangering hundreds of thousands of jobs and entire industries.
“Sanctions should not hit European countries harder than the Russian leadership,” Soltz told the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, according to Reuters.
The summit, however, is expected to result in new sanctions against Russia as well as the tightening of the existing framework for sanctions.
On the board, the pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.6% to 455.76 points.
The German DAX loses 0.8% at 14,351.52 points. The war in Ukraine is limiting the growth of the German economy and increasing inflationary pressures, the Ifo Institute warned today.
“We expect growth to be between 2.2% and 3.1% this year,” said Ifo chief economist Timo Wollmershaeuser. Last December, the Institute set growth at 3.7%.
At the same time, the Institute revised its inflation forecasts upwards, to 5.1% from 6.1% from 3.3% in the December estimate.
The French CAC 40 is down 0.6% at 6,617.97 points, while the British FTSE 100 is moving with small gains of 0.1% to 7,482.72 points after the data showed that inflation climbed to a new 30-year high in February. at 6.2%.
In the periphery, the Italian FTSE MIB fell 0.55%, while the Spanish IBEX 35 fell 1%.