European markets to open lower after U.S. Fed dampens easing expectations

European markets will open slightly lower Thursday as traders process a more hawkish tone from the U.S. Federal Reserve and await the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.

The FTSE 100 is seen edging 6 points lower to 7,581, the DAX is expected to slide around 43 points to 12,156, and the CAC 40 is seen down around 13 points at 5,506.

Markets are reacting to the Fed’s first cut to its main interest rate since 2008, after Chairman Jerome Powell cited signs of a global slowdown, simmering U.S. trade tensions and persistent low inflation in the central bank’s decision to lower borrowing costs by 25 basis points.

However, Powell suggested the cut was a “mid-cycle adjustment to policy” rather than the start of an aggressive monetary easing cycle, sending Wall Street lower.

The Dow dropped 330 points in its worst day since May as traders reacted to the announcement. Meanwhile Asian stocks were subdued on Thursday afternoon after a private survey showed Chinese factory activity contracted in July, with mainland Chinese shares leading losses.

Back in Europe, the Bank of England is set to announce its monetary policy decision on Thursday, with economists polled by Reuters suggesting that the MPC will vote unanimously to keep rates on hold at 0.75% despite the looming risk of a no-deal Brexit.

Earnings in focus

Societe Generale on Thursday reported a second-quarter net income of 1.05 billion euros ($1.16 billion), surpassing analyst expectations according to Reuters’ estimates. The French bank posted a net income of 1.2 billion euros for the same quarter last year.

Carmaker Fiat Chrysler took the market by surprise Wednesday by sticking to its full-year profit guidance after a strong performance from its Ram pickup truck in North America, which helped it avoid a wider industry slowdown.

British bank Barclays is set to report second-quarter earnings before the bell.

Source: CNBC

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