FX.co ★ European stocks open lower

European stocks open lower

European stocks open lower

On Monday, key European stock indices declined. Investors are discussing the prospects of a global economic recession and continue to analyze the Fed and other global regulators' hawkish decisions on monetary policy.

At the time of writing, the STOXX Europe 600 index of Europe's leading companies fell by 0.18% to 389.68 points.

The French CAC 40 sank by 0.55%, the German DAX dropped by 0.5%, and the British FTSE 100 lost 0.96%.

Top gainers and losers

The stocks of British financial company Virgin Money UK PLC plummeted 6.7%.

The quotes of German energy giant Uniper SE soared by 23.2%.

Market sentiment

On Monday, European investors continued to analyze the outcome of the US Federal Reserve's September monetary policy meeting published last week. Market participants are afraid of both global and eurozone recession in particular after the US regulator's hawkish decisions

On Wednesday, the US central bank raised its key rate range by 75 basis points to 3-3.25%, the highest since 2008.

The Fed also lowered its forecasts for US gross domestic product and raised its estimates of inflation and unemployment for 2022-2023. Moreover, US Central Bank officials said they would continue to reduce their holdings of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities and agency debt. The latest news from the US Federal Reserve gave investors an idea of the future prospects of the interest rate in the face of a permanently rising inflation rate.

Notably, the US Federal Reserve already raised its key rate by 25 basis points in March 2022. Moreover, it raised the rate by 50 and 75 basis points in May and in June respectively.

Additionally, at the end of last week, the Bank of England raised the discount rate by 0.5%. It was the seventh consecutive increase in the rate.

As part of its September meeting, the British regulator also adjusted its next steps in monetary policy according to the measures of Liz Truss's new cabinet to limit energy prices.

Notably, the Bank of England representatives predicted at the August meeting that inflation in the country would peak at 13.3% by the end of 2022. Then the UK will plunge into recession, and it will not end until early 2024.

On Thursday, the Swiss central bank hiked rates by 75 basis points to 0.5%. The September rate hike was the second in a row: in June it was increased by 50 basis points to minus 0.25%. Consequently, the inflation rate in Switzerland was at its highest point in the last thirty years, i.e. 3.5% year-on-year.

Earlier at its September meeting, the European Central Bank raised the main base rate on loans to 1.25%, the rate on deposits to 0.75%, and the rate on marginal loans to 1.5%. At the same time, the discount rate was increased immediately by 0.75% for the first time in history.

Moreover, the Central Bank members noted that the regulator intended to continue raising the rate in the upcoming meetings. ECB President Christine Lagarde said that further pace of interest rate hikes would depend on the coming statistical data.

Therefore, global central bank decisions on monetary policy in September 2022 were considered the most aggressive in the past years.

On Monday morning, the IFO Institute reported that business confidence in Germany sank to 84.3 points from 88.6 points in August. At the same time, the September indicator became the lowest since May 2020. Besides, market makers forecasted a decrease in business confidence in Germany only to 87 points.

Moreover, the weak results of the latest US trading session exerted additional pressure on the European stock market. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index sank by 1.62%, the S&P 500 index lost 1.72%, and the NASDAQ Composite fell by 1.8%.

Previous trading results

On Friday, European stock indices closed in the red zone.

Thus, the STOXX Europe 600 index of Europe's leading companies fell by 2.34% to 390.40 points.

The French CAC 40 was down 2.28%, the German DAX lost 1.97%, and the British FTSE 100 decreased by 1.97%.

The shares of German automobile concern Volkswagen AG fell by 3.3%. Earlier, the company's management said that it did not rule out the possibility of moving production from Germany and Eastern Europe amid growing gas shortages in the euro area.

Stocks of Swiss bank Credit Suisse plummeted by 12.4% on reports that the company might again turn to investors for new cash to radically overhaul its investment bank.

The market capitalization of Norwegian metals maker Norsk Hydro fell by 5.2%. Even the statement of the company's management about the start of a stock buyback program totaling $192.2 million did not support the quotes. The program is scheduled to start on September 26, 2022. It will last until September 20, 2023.

Shares of British fashion house Burberry Group PLC plummeted by 4.6% after the news came that Chief Operating and Financial Officer Julie Brown would leave the company.

The stocks of German battery maker Varta AG fell by 34.2%. Earlier, the company's management canceled its forecast for the third quarter of fiscal year 2022 amid the permanent increase in raw materials and energy prices as well as problems in supply chains.

On Friday, weak EU and UK statistics exerted considerable pressure on the European stock market. According to preliminary data from the American information media holding S&P Global, the eurozone composite PMI in September fell to 48.2 points from 48.9 points in August.

Over the past three months, the eurozone PMI has been hovering below 50, which is the line between contraction and expansion. At the same time, the risk of recession in the EU economy has reached its all-time high since July 2020.

Meanwhile, the ISM manufacturing index fell to 48.5 in September from 49.6 points in August, and the Service PMI fell to 48.9 from 49.8 points.

Germany's composite PMI in September sank to 45.9 points from 46.9 points in August. In France, the indicator rose to 51.2 points from 50.4 points.

According to GfK NOP Ltd, the UK consumer confidence index fell by 5 points to minus 49 points in September, its lowest level since 1974.

However, there was positive news on Friday. Spain's economic growth accelerated to 1.5% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the previous indicator of 1.1%.

Therefore, the current macroeconomic outlook in the EU remains gloomy amid disruptions in energy supplies, a protracted conflict between Russia and Ukraine as well as a permanent rise in energy and food prices.

*The market analysis posted here is meant to increase your awareness, but not to give instructions to make a trade
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