Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • Limited 12-hour humanitarian truce takes effect in Gaza

    Read more

  • French PM calls for calm ahead of banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Video: 'Lack of security' at MH17 crash site, FRANCE 24 reports

    Read more

  • In pictures: Devastation, debris at Air Algérie crash site

    Read more

  • Kerry due in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • Washington Post reporter and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Fans electrify the mood as Tour de France crosses the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Europe

World markets fall after ECB delays eurozone action

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-08-16

Financial markets across the world tumbled on Friday as wary investors reacted to Thursday’s meeting of the European Central Bank, which failed to live up to hopes of bold action aimed at easing the eurozone debt crisis.

REUTERS - Asian shares and the euro fell on Friday as investors shunned risk after the European Central Bank took no immediate action and only hinted at future steps to tackle the euro zone’s fiscal woes, following similar inaction from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

European stocks were likely to consolidate, and U.S. stock futures signalled a flat Wall Street start. Financial spreadbetters called the main indexes in London, Paris and Frankfurt to open between a 0.1 percent rise and a 0.1 percent drop.

Key U.S. non-farm payrolls data for July is due at 1230 GMT, with job creation below the 100,000 forecast likely to boost hopes the Fed, which on Wednesday stood pat with its current monetary policy, would embark on further easing as early as next month.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 1.1 percent after global stocks tumbled on Thursday, but was set for a weekly gain of about 0.9 percent.

The index’s materials sector slumped nearly 2 percent as miners dragged Australian shares lower to rank among the worst performers in Asia with a 1 percent drop.

“One would expect the risk-off adjustment would likely be involved in the selling of stocks such as miners, whose revenue strengths are more vulnerable to on-going problems in Europe, and the retrenchment of world confidence and so forth,” said Ric Spooner, market strategist at CMC Markets, of Australian stocks.

Japan’s Nikkei stock average slid 1.2 percent, hit by heavy quarterly losses and cuts to the full-year earnings outlook from Sharp Corp and Sony Corp.

Expectations for bold action had run high since ECB President Mario Draghi vowed on Thursday last week to do whatever it took to preserve the euro.

The ECB, after keeping interest rates steady, indicated it may resume buying government bonds to drive down surging Spanish and Italian borrowing costs, but passed the baton back to euro zone governments by saying they must act first.

But Draghi said the ECB would consider other “non-standard” measures, hinting at quantitative easing, and left the door open for future rate cuts by noting signs of spreading economic weakness.

“It was obviously disappointing not to get outright buying of bonds by the Fed and ECB, but it seems they will come and in the case of the ECB, could be unlimited,” said Chris Weston, a dealer at IG Markets in Melbourne.

Central banks not almighty

The euro hit all-time lows against the Australian and New Zealand dollars on Friday around A$1.1600 and around NZ$1.4950 respectively.

The single currency fell 0.1 percent against the U.S. dollar to $1.2170, not far from a one-week low of $1.21335 touched after investors digested the ECB’s news on Thursday.

“Draghi kept hopes that the ECB will do what it can within the framework of a central bank and that is positive,” said Kazuto Uchida, an executive officer and general manager of the global markets division at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

“But concurrently, markets were reminded of the limit to what the central bank can do for Europe’s fiscal crisis. There is now risk of repercussions to having an excessive belief that monetary policy or central banks are ‘almighty’.”

Uchida said that the Fed, in contrast, has managed market expectations better to maintain relative stability by pricing in further easing stimulus.

The Fed said at this week’s meeting that it was prepared to act if the economy deteriorated further, and economists say the U.S. central bank is buying time to lay the groundwork for further monetary easing, possibly at its Sept. 12-13 meeting.

U.S. 10-year Treasuries in Asia clung to gains made the previous day while Japanese government bonds rallied, pushing the two-year yield down to its lowest since July 2005 at 0.085 percent.

the lack of policy moves from the ECB and the Fed reduced pressure on the Bank of Japan, which meets next week.

“There is no reason for a country where economic assessment has not changed, to take action,” said Mari Iwashita, bond strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities.

Brent crude added 0.4 percent to $106.33 a barrel, while U.S. crude futures rose 0.5 percent to $87.57.

China’s services industry slowed in July from June, but still fared far better than the factory sector, with the official purchasing managers’ index falling to 55.6 from 56.7 and staying above a 50 reading that signals expansion.

Market jitters unsettled Asian credit markets, sending the spread on the iTraxx Asia ex-Japan investment-grade index wider by 4 basis points.

 

Date created : 2012-08-03

  • FINANCE

    ECB stalls on euro crisis while markets tumble

    Read more

  • FINANCE

    Markets hope for bold moves ahead of ECB meeting

    Read more

  • ECONOMY

    US, German finance chiefs stress need for cooperation

    Read more

COMMENT(S)