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European stocks largely lower; investors fret over rising yields

Published Sep 26, 2023 02:01AM ET Updated Sep 26, 2023 03:53AM ET
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© Reuters. - European stock markets largely retreated Tuesday, as investors fretted on the prospect for a period of elevated interest rates, creating economic uncertainty.

At 03:45 ET (07:45 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.5% lower, the CAC 40 in France dropped 0.8%, while FTSE 100 in the U.K. rose 0.2%.

ECB to delay rate cuts?

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s hawkish tilt, at its policy meeting last week, continues to reverberate around the global markets, as the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose to levels not seen since October 2007.

This has had repercussions in Europe, with Germany’s 10-year bond yield hitting its highest point since 2011, while eurozone yields more widely also increased.

The European Central Bank hinted at a pause in its tightening cycle when it hiked interest rates earlier this month, but President Christine Lagarde seemingly implied, during a speech on Monday, it would be some time before the central bank started cutting interest rates as inflation remains above its medium-term target.

"We consider that our policy rates have reached levels that, maintained for a sufficiently long duration, will make a substantial contribution to the timely return of inflation to our target," Lagarde said.

ECB Chief Economist Philip Lane spoke at a conference earlier Tuesday, and his comments are being studied carefully, especially ahead of Friday’s release of the preliminary eurozone consumer inflation data for September. 

The Bank of England unexpectedly decided to pause its rate-hiking cycle last week, as the U.K. economy struggles. This has weighed heavily on sterling, which sank to a six-month low versus the U.S. dollar, but this has supported many of the FTSE 100's multinational companies, who tend to report their results in dollars.  

Chinese property sector in focus

Elsewhere, concerns continue to mount over the Chinese economy, after Bloomberg reported that a unit of embattled property developer Evergrande has missed payments on some onshore bonds.

The property sector, a massive part of the Chinese economy, has suffered from a three-year cash crunch, weighing heavily on growth in the second largest economy in the world. 

Additionally, rating agency Moody’s warned that a U.S. government shutdown would harm the country's credit, as a funding agreement remains unsigned as the Oct. 1 deadline draws nearer.

Fitch downgraded the U.S. by one notch a month ago on the back of a debt ceiling crisis, and Moody’s warning puts the country's last triple-A rating on the line.

Airbus makes managerial appointment

Airbus (EPA:AIR) stock fell 0.2% after the world's largest planemaker confirmed the appointment of sales chief Christian Scherer as CEO of its core planemaking operation, restoring dedicated leadership of its main business for the first time in four years.

ASOS (LON:ASOS) stock rose 1.8% after the retailer said it now expects profit for the year to be at the bottom of its range, citing wet weather during the summer. The market had already anticipated a sales decline, and the fact the company didn't profit range has been seen as a positive.   

Crude weakens ahead of key Chinese activity data

Oil prices fell Tuesday as renewed stress in China’s property market raised concerns about economic growth this year in the world’s largest crude importer.

Embattled developer China Evergrande (HK:3333) Group warned earlier this week that it was unable to issue new debt, putting the focus firmly on the release of key Chinese purchasing managers’ index data for September later in the week.

While PMI readings for August had shown some improvement in manufacturing activity, service sector growth declined through the month. 

By 03:45 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 1.3% lower at $88.54 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 1.3% to $90.73. 

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,931.65/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% lower at 1.0572.


European stocks largely lower; investors fret over rising yields

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