Friday, 26 July 2019

US and European stocks fall despite ECB expecting interest rates “at their present or lower levels”

Markets were mixed on Thursday.

The S&P 500 fell 0.5 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.6 percent but the Shanghai Composite rose 0.5 percent.

The European Central Bank prepared markets for more easing measures on Thursday, saying that it expects its key interest rates to remain “at their present or lower levels” at least through the first half of 2020.

ECB President Mario Draghi said at a press conference on Thursday that “a significant degree of monetary stimulus continues to be necessary to ensure that financial conditions remain very favorable and support the euro area expansion.”

However, not everyone was impressed by the announcement.

“No meat on the bone on what the package/stimuli might entail,” wrote Piet Christiansen, senior ECB/euro-area analyst at Danske Bank, in a tweet.

Meanwhile, some positive economic data from the US also failed to boost stocks. Durable goods orders rose 2 percent last month while new applications for jobless benefits fell to 206,000 during the week ended 20 July.

“P/E expansion is responsible for almost all the price appreciation this year, and stocks are starting to look a little pricey. Not yet to scary levels, but something to watch,” wrote Ed Keon, chief investment strategist at QMA, a quantitative equity arm of PGIM.

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