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European Stocks Lower as Central Banks Hit Sentiment

Stock MarketsDec 17, 2021 04:11AM ET
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By Peter Nurse - European stock markets slipped Friday, as markets adjust to a new reality that central banks are tightening monetary policy even in the face of another Covid-induced slowdown. 

At 4:10 AM ET (0910 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.8% lower, the CAC 40 in France fell 0.7% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.1%. 

Two of Europe’s biggest central banks took steps to combat surging inflation on Thursday, with the Bank of England raising interest rates for the first time since the pandemic started and the European Central Bank saying it will end its emergency bond-buying program in three months' time. In contrast to the Federal Reserve, however, the ECB will continue to buy bonds at least until the end of next year.

The Bank of Japan continued the theme by saying it too will trim its quantitative easing program at the end of March, ending its purchases of corporate bonds and commercial paper.

The general trend towards tightening monetary policy appears to be clear, even though the different paths taken by central banks underline deep uncertainties about how the fast-spreading Omicron variant will hit economies. 

In corporate news, Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) stock fell 0.8% after the Financial Times reported that Eric Varvel, chairman of the Swiss lender’s investment bank, is in discussions to leave the company.

Airbus (PA:AIR) stock rose 0.4% after the aircraft manufacturer announced a deal to supply 100 narrow-body jets to Air France-KLM subsidiaries, while HSBC (LON:HSBA) stock fell 0.3% after the U.K. financial regulator fined the banking giant almost 64 million pounds ($85 million) for failings in its anti-money laundering processes over an eight-year period.

The European economic data slate is headed up by the November consumer price index for the Eurozone, which is expected to show inflation remains elevated, while the widely-watched December German Ifo business climate index fell slightly to 94.7 from a revised 96.6 the previous month.

Oil prices weakened Friday, on course for a negative week, as surging cases of the Omicron Covid-19 variant raise concerns new restrictions may hit oil demand. 

Traders will look to the release of the Baker Hughes oil rig count and the CFTC positioning data later in the session to round the week off. 

By 4:10 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.6% lower at $71.25 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 1.4% to $73.94. Brent is headed for a 1.2% loss this week, while the U.S. contract is poised to finish the week down 0.1%.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.7% to $1,810.05/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.1338.


European Stocks Lower as Central Banks Hit Sentiment

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Nuno Cova
Nuno Cova Dec 17, 2021 6:02AM ET
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Big fish is shorting the market and making trillions of it, they need fear and doubt to install, they want you to be scared. Control your emotions.
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