Stocks fall as ECB stands trial

Equity markets are in the red as the European Central Bank (ECB) is brought before the German constitutional court in relation to their bond-buying scheme.

At the height of the eurozone debt crisis, the cost of borrowing for some European nations was so high that they were forced to ask for a bailout from the Troika. The ECB brought stability to the bond markets by buying government bonds to keep their cost of borrowing down. Today, the ECB is before the German constitutional court to determine whether or not their bond-buying scheme was lawful. Since trading opened, investors have been selling stocks as the cost of borrowing for some European governments is rising.

The Competition Commission has provisionally agreed to the planned merger between drinks companies Britvic and AG Barr; the stocks are down 2% and up 0.5% respectively. Severn Trent is flat on the day as it is revealed that two hedge funds have built up large stakes in the water utility company.

There is speculation that two Beijing banking companies are interested in acquiring coal assets belonging to Rio Tinto. The share price is down 2%.

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