European stock markets posted mixed results yesterday and the euro plummeted after the European Central Bank cut its main interest rate to a record low but did not announce new stimulus measures.
The ECB cut its main refinancing rate to 0.75% in a widely anticipated move.
In London, the Bank of England maintained its main rate at a record low of 0.50% and announced £50bn ($78bn, €62bn) in additional stimulus to boost Britain’s recession-hit economy.
That brought the total amount of stimulus provided by the BoE so far to £375bn.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 ended a day of choppy trading with a slight gain of 0.14% at 5,692.63 points.
Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index turned lower meanwhile to post a loss of 0.45% at 6,535.56 points and in Paris the CAC 40 was down by 1.17% at 3,229.36.
Madrid’s Ibex 35 index plummeted by 2.99% to 6,954.20 points and in Milan the FTSE Mib fell by 2.03% to 14,089 points.
The European single currency plunged to $1.2382 from $1.2527 late Thursday in New York.
In midday stock trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.19% to 12,918.88 points.
The broader S&P 500-stock index lost 0.31% to 1,369.78, while the tech-rich Nasdaq was 0.11% higher at 2,979.34.
In China, a second interest rate cut in less than a month surprised markets and analysts suggested that the world’s second-biggest economy might be slowing more quickly than expected.
With the anticipated ECB rate cut and BoE stimulus boost already priced in, markets had expected more from Frankfurt and London and were left wanting.
“Investors had built their hopes up too high ahead of today’s central bank meetings and there are growing concerns that the apparent consensus reached at last week’s EU summit is not as game-changing as first thought,” noted GFT analyst David Morrison.
Eurozone leaders agreed last week to allow emergency rescue funds to recapitalise commercial banks directly, taking pressure off the national accounts in their host countries.
With the exception of also establishing a eurozone banking supervisory body and putting official creditors on a par with private investors, other measures were relatively minor or remained a question of interpretation.
They notably included the conditions under which the funds could buy sovereign bonds to help out heavily-indebted countries like Greece and Italy.
Investors had therefore looked to the ECB for some additional support.
But ECB president Mario Draghi told a press conference after the rate cut was announced that he and eurozone central bank governors “didn’t discuss any other non-standard measures.”
He referred to previous massive cash injections into the banking system and a dormant ECB programme of buying sovereign bonds issued by heavily indebted countries.
from gulf times.