European stock markets rose again on Thursday as the European Central Bank kept its stimulus measures wide open, while Wall Street was mixed despite a sharp drop in new jobless claims in the United States.
Frankfurt shares ended the day 0.8% higher and Paris climbed 0.9%.
“European markets were applauded by the ECB’s continued conciliatory stance and by their decision to ‘significantly’ increase the pace of bond purchases for the second quarter,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at the IG online trading platform.
“This unsurprisingly put pressure on the euro, which fell slightly against the US dollar, but overall the continued support for the euro area economy has boosted investor enthusiasm for eurozone assets, “he added.
The euro traded at $ 1.2015, from $ 1.2035 late Wednesday.
As widely expected, the ECB has maintained its massive stimulus package to fight the pandemic as struggling European economies face slow recoveries amid a resurgence of Covid cases and vaccination campaigns slow.
ECB chief Christine Lagarde said the economic outlook in the euro area remains “clouded by uncertainty” due to the coronavirus pandemic, but an accelerated vaccination campaign is expected to result in a “firm rebound” in 2021.
She also highlighted the need for EU governments to ratify a € 750 billion European coronavirus recovery fund so that it can be deployed to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, Wall Street backed down Thursday after making gains the day before, with the Dow losing 0.3% late in the morning.
“After seeing decent gains yesterday, US markets opened a bit lower today and appear to be struggling to find direction, despite another round of weekly jobless claims that once again point to a decent recovery in the market. US labor market, ”said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
The drop came despite a host of mostly better-than-expected earnings results, as well as weekly jobless claims for the first time at a pandemic-era low.
Shares of Credit Suisse fell 2.1% after the Swiss banking giant suffered a first-quarter loss on fallout from bankruptcies of UK finance firm Greensill and US hedge fund Archegos.
Directors overseeing Greensill’s operations said its Australian parent group had gone into liquidation.
– Recovery of Asia –
Asian stocks mostly recouped the week’s losses Thursday after Wall Street overnight snapped a two-day drop that was triggered in part by virus-fueled nervousness.
Investors took the plunge from New York to buy, with the Dow rising above 34,000 and closing in on last week’s record.
Further growth in US stocks is on the horizon in the coming days as analysts expect corporate results to paint a clearer picture of the post-pandemic US economy.
Tokyo led the Asian recovery with the Nikkei rising 2.4% by the closing bell, despite an escalating coronavirus outbreak just three months before Japan hosts the pandemic-delayed Olympics.
– Key figures around 3:30 p.m. GMT –
New York – Dow: Down 0.3% to 34,051.92 points
EURO STOXX 50: + 1.0% at 4,014.62
London – FTSE 100: + 0.6 at 6,938.24 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: + 0.8% to 15,320.52 (closing)
Paris – CAC 40: + 0.9% to 6,267.28 (closing)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: + 2.4% to 29,188.17 (closing)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: + 0.5% at 28,755.34 (closing)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.2% to 3465.11 (close)
Euro / dollar: DOWN to $ 1.2015 from $ 1.2035
Pound / dollar: UP to $ 1.3841 from $ 1.3931
Euro / pound: UP to 86.79 pence from 86.39 pence
Dollar / yen: UNCHANGED at 108.08 yen
North Sea Brent: + 0.4% to $ 65.57 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: + 0.4% to $ 61.57 per barrel
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