Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Dovish Draghi helps lift European stocks to June highs

European Central Bank sets end date for huge stimulus program ECB calls halt to quantitative easing, despite 'soft' euro
Laurie Berry | 17 June, 2018, 05:44

In currencies, the USA dollar slipped against the safe-haven yen in the wake of the announced tariffs, while the dollar index, which measures the greenback against six currencies, rose 0.01 percent.

The S&P 500 edged up and the Nasdaq reached another record closing high on Thursday after the European Central Bank said it would avoid raising interest rates until mid-2019, and data showed USA economic strength.

The single currency stabilized on Friday, trading up 0.1% against a broadly strong dollar at $1.1573.

French tele-services provider Teleperformance jumped 5.8 per cent to a record high after agreeing to buy India-based Intelenet from United States private equity firm Blackstone for US$1 billion.

It stretched overnight losses to brush $1.1555, lowest since May 30.

While inflation has remained weak, higher oil prices, increasingly evident wage pressures and record employment suggest that prices will be moving up in the coming years, even if more slowly than the European Central Bank had originally hoped. Futures markets are pointing to stronger opening moves across the region.

The outbreak of a global trade war has been the most frequently cited "biggest tail risk" by investors this year in Bank of America Merrill Lynch's monthly survey of global fund managers, on the back of ramped up protectionist rhetoric and measures by the USA administration.

Just hours before the ECB's announcement, the US Federal Reserve hiked interest rates for the second time in 2018, bringing into sharp focus the fact that the flow of easy money in Europe and America over the past decade is gradually ending.

Apple to block popular police method for breaking into iPhones
The change may not sound like much, but it probably throws a serious roadblock in law enforcement attempts to break into iPhones. In beta versions of iOS 11.4, Apple had first introduced a rudimentary version of the feature called USB Restricted Mode .

And an acrimonious end to Saturday's Group of Seven summit heightened the risk of a tit-for-tat trade war between European Union nations and U.S. President Donald Trump.

"The Governing Council expects the key European Central Bank interest rates to remain at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019 and in any case for as long as necessary to ensure that the evolution of inflation remains aligned with the current expectations of a sustained adjustment path", the European Central Bank said in a statement. "At the same time, you're moving grudgingly toward that". Uncertainty around the inflation outlook is receding.

USA crude output has risen nearly 30 per cent in the last two years to a record high of 10.9 million bpd.

July West Texas Intermediate crude rose by 25 cents, or 0.4%, to settle at $66.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest finish since May 31.

"The statement is likely to have little effect on longer-term interest rates, but may hold them at current low levels with more stability than would otherwise have been the case". Russian Federation pumped 11.1 million bpd in the first two weeks of June, above Saudi Arabia, which produced slightly more than 10 million bpd.

Interest-rate sensitive sectors such as autos and utilities gained, while banking stocks, which tend to gain from higher interest rates, fell briefly before turning positive once again in volatile trade.

The surge in US output has put pressure on other producers, which are losing market share.

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