European markets opened mixed for the last trading session of the week, following declines in Asia alongside US Futures. Shares in Europe remain under pressure as they struggle to consolidate after the drop seen yesterday following the ‘not-so-dovish’ ECB display on Thursday. Even though Mario Draghi’s press conference was mostly in line with what investors expected (no rate cut yet but ECB ready for a move in September), traders have been slightly surprised to hear the ECB stating that “risks remain titled to the downside” but chances of a recession stay low.
The market’s reaction has been immediate and put significant pressure on stocks while the EUR registered solid gains against almost all major currencies except the U.S. Dollar, as investors now brace for the next FOMC meeting where a 0.25-point rate cut is likely. Later today the focus will be on US GDP figures, as many anticipate cooler growth this quarter (exp 1.8% vs previous 3.1%). Higher-than-expected GDP data could paradoxically concern stock traders as it might rule out or delay further stimulus from the FED, even though this remains a very unlikely scenario.
In Europe, the best performance is being registered by Zurich with an SMI-20 trading towards 9,900.0pts today. The market is being driven by ROCHE HOLDING (+1.30%) which saw its sales boosted by new drugs in the pipeline.