European stocks retreat after Fed-inspired support

GMT 11:56 2015 Friday ,18 December

Arab Today, arab today European stocks retreat after Fed-inspired support

Frankfurt's DAX index was down 0.3% at 10,707 in midday trade
London - AFP

European stock markets slid on Friday as a rally inspired by the US interest rate hike petered out heading into the weekend break.

Around midday, the Frankfurt, Paris and London markets were each down by 0.3 percent.

The euro inched up to $1.0826 in foreign exchange deals after falling heavily Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised borrowing costs for the first time in almost a decade.

Europe's main indices had rallied Thursday, led by Frankfurt which closed up 2.6 percent, after the US central ended months of uncertainty surrounding interest rate policy.

"While Wednesday's Fed rate hike removed one cloud of uncertainty from the markets... speculation about when the next one is likely to occur is not expected to remain too far away," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at trading group CMC Markets UK.

The Fed raised its benchmark federal funds rate, locked near zero since the 2008 financial crisis, by a quarter point to 0.25-0.50 percent, saying the US economy is growing solidly.
The move highlighted a growing divergence in monetary policy between the US central bank and its overseas counterparts.

Japan's central bank on Friday announced an unexpected tweak to its vast stimulus programme, jolting financial markets and pushing the yen into a brief dive.

The European Central Bank and Bank of England are also propping up the eurozone and British economy with billions of dollars worth of economic stimulus by buying assets such as bonds.

In Friday trading meanwhile, Asian stock markets also fell back after a two-day rally, with commodity-linked shares again taking a hit.

Wall Street's three main markets had already been dragged down Thursday by energy firms as oil prices tanked again.

The US rate rise sent the greenback rallying on Wednesday and Thursday, making oil more expensive for customers using weaker currencies.
That exacerbated pressure on the black gold, which has plunged about 15 percent since December 4 when the OPEC oil exporters' group decided not to put a limit on output despite a global glut and anaemic demand.

Tokyo's main index meanwhile tumbled 1.9 percent Friday, hurt also by a stronger yen after the action taken by the Bank of Japan.

Next week, investors will be keeping an eye on key US data, including economic growth figures and existing homes sales, after the Fed rate move boosted hopes the world's top economy was back on track.

"Investors are keen to confirm the health of the US housing market," Nomura Securities said in a commentary.

- Key figures at 1100 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.3 percent at 6,084 points

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.3 percent at 10,707

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.3 percent at 4,663

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,293

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.9 percent at 18,986.80 (close)

New York - Dow: DOWN 1.4 percent at 17,495.84 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP to $1.0826 from $1.0824 late in New York Thursday.

Dollar/yen: DOWN to 121.51 yen from 122.60 yen



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