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European stocks edge lower; cautious trading ahead of central bank meetings

Published Sep 18, 2023 15:48
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Investing.com - European stock markets edged lower Monday, as investors braced for a week packed with central bank meetings, including from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

At 03:35 ET (07:35 GMT), the DAX index in Germany traded 0.3% lower, the CAC 40 in France dropped 0.5%, while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. traded largely unchanged.

ECB officials in spotlight

The new week has started on a cautious note, handing back some of the previous week's gains when investors took comfort from signs that the European Central Bank is nearly done raising interest rates.

The ECB lifted interest rates on Thursday to a record high of 4%, but the accompanying press release hinted that the hike was likely to be its last with the eurozone economy struggling.

ECB policy makers ECB's Luis de Guindos, Frank Elderson and Fabio Panetta are scheduled to speak Monday, and their comments will be studied for the extent of the dissent from the more hawkish members of the group over the indications of an end to the year-long rate-hiking cycle. 

Federal Reserve leads central banks parade

This week sees a number of major central banks hold policy-setting meetings, including the Bank of England on Thursday and the Bank of Japan on Friday.

However, the highlight will be Wednesday’s Federal Reserve gathering, at which the U.S. central bank is widely expected to announce a pause to its series of interest rate increases.

That said, with U.S. consumer inflation rising by 0.6% on a monthly basis last month, the largest gain since June 2022, driven by higher gasoline prices, the Fed is likely to retain its hawkish outlook and likely signal higher-for-longer rates. 

Chipmakers face difficulties globally

Back in Europe, Nordic Semiconductor (OL:NOD) stock slumped nearly 15% after cutting its revenue guidance for the third quarter

However, its problems aren't unique judging by a Reuters report which said that Taiwan’s Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE:TSM), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, had asked its suppliers to delay deliveries amid concerns over slowing demand. 

Societe Generale (EPA:SOGN) stock fell almost 6% after new CEO Slawomir Krupa pledged to cut costs to boost profits by 2026 amid stagnating sales, in his first strategic plan for France's third-biggest listed bank.

Crude extends rally ahead of central bank meetings

Oil prices headed higher Monday, continuing to rally on the back of expectations of a tighter market ahead of a series of central bank policy-setting meetings this week.

The crude benchmarks have risen over 30% over the past three months following supply cuts from Saudi Arabia and Russia, which could push the market into a substantial deficit in the fourth quarter.

Traders will be watching decisions and commentary by central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, this week on interest rate policies, and key economic data out of China.

By 03:35 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.8% higher at $90.70 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.6% to $94.51. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,948.95/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0665.

 

European stocks edge lower; cautious trading ahead of central bank meetings
 

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