European Equity Benchmarks Close Mixed

May 22, 2017

The broad-based major European indices closed mixed in Monday’s trading session, as the continental markets moved lower, while the London Exchanged managed to end the day in positive territory. In economic news, the European Commission has initiated the opening of the Article 50 negotiations with the U.K. The first phase of negotiations will focus on three main areas: safeguarding the status and rights of E.U. citizens in the U.K. and U.K. citizens in the E.U.; reaching a financial settlement concerning the U.K.’s obligations as an E.U. member; and providing for the new external borders of the EU, including the protection of the Good Friday Agreement.

The E.U. has also ruled that Portugal is now in good standing in regard to E.U. deficit rules after its budget deficit dropped to 2% of GDP for 2016. The country is expected to remain below the E.U. target of less than 3% of GDP. “Portugal has worked hard to achieve this outcome, and will continue to work hard to keep improving its prospects,” the Portuguese government said in a statement. “This decision is a turning point in so far as it expresses the Commission’s assessment that Portugal’s excessive fiscal deficit has been corrected in a sustainable and durable way. Confidence in the Portuguese economy is now spreading to the international institutions.”

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By Stephen Holmes

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