European stock markets were little changed yesterday as investors weighed the chances of more stimulus measures from the US Federal Reserve as they braced for a busy week for the eurozone’s debt crisis.
London’s FTSE 100 index of top companies closed just 0.03% lower at 5,793.2 points, Frankfurt’s Dax 30 was essentially unchanged at 7,213.7 points and in Paris the CAC 40 lost 0.37% to 3,506.05 points.
Eurozone debt crisis flashpoint Madrid dropped 0.32% and Milan dipped 0.11%.
“Investors remain focused on monetary policy and on the capacity of central banks to relaunch global growth,” Paris-based economists from Aurel BGC brokerage said in a note.
In foreign exchange activity, the European single currency dipped to $1.2797 on profit-taking following an impressive pre-weekend rally.
The euro had surged to $1.2817 on Friday, hitting the highest level since May 22, after weaker-than-expected non-farm payrolls data in the US.
In the US, stocks were also mostly unchanged yesterday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.06% in midday trade and the S&P 500 off by 0.05%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq shed 0.34%.
Wall Street was trading “in cautious action ahead of Thursday’s conclusion of the two-day monetary policy meeting by the Federal Reserve, with Friday’s lacklustre domestic labour report boosting expectations that the central bank will announce further economic stimulus measures,” Charles Schwab & Co analysts said.
Global equities and the euro had also rebounded last week after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi announced it could buy unlimited amounts of debt from troubled nations like Spain and Italy in a bid to lower borrowing costs.
Investors’ focus now switches to Germany’s Constitutional Court, which on Wednesday is due to decide whether German President Joachim Gauck can sign into law the eurozone’s key crisis-fighting tools that include the European Stability Mechanism.
Other key events that will dictate investor sentiment include the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision on Thursday and the Dutch general election tomorrow.
“European markets kick off the week in a cautious manner as investors hold back from building risk exposure ahead of key events this week,” said ETX Capital trader Ishaq Siddiqi.
“We have the German Constitutional Court ruling on the ESM on Wednesday and the Fed meeting on Thursday, both of which are major event risks.
“Germany’s opposition of the ECB’s bond-buying plan and the mixed data picture of the US economy prompt a huge degree of uncertainty over both events.”
“After last week’s euphoric buying spree across global indices, markets are in respite mood this morning as they contemplate the chances of the US Federal Reserve taking similar action to the ECB by providing the world’s largest economy with more stimulus,” said Capital Spreads analyst Simon Denham.
From gulf times.