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European Markets Await ECB’s Interest Rate Decision

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United Kingdom

Following a weak performance for two consecutive trading weeks, the United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 Index started this week on a stronger note and advanced in the first three trading days. However, the FTSE 100 Index opened lower on Thursday and was trading with mixed sentiment near opening prices in the morning session.

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Market sentiment

The concerns about a global trade war declined on Thursday amid the chances of a softer import tariff plan. The market focus shifted from a trade war to the ECB’s (European Central Bank) interest rate decision and press conference. Although a change in interest rates isn’t expected, the market is looking forward to getting clues about the economic outlook and the monetary stimulus program’s direction. Despite a recovery in Asian markets on Thursday, the FTSE 100 Index was weak in the morning session due to increased caution in the market ahead of the ECB’s press conference.

At 3:45 AM EST today, the FTSE 100 Index was trading at 7,160.25—a gain of 0.03%. The iShares MSCI United Kingdom (EWU) fell 0.03% to $34.76 on Wednesday.

Germany

After gaining for three consecutive trading days, Germany’s DAX 30 Index opened lower on Thursday. The decreased risk appetite ahead of the ECB’s interest rate decision and the release of weaker-than-expected economic data limited the DAX 30 Index’s upward movement in the morning session. According to Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Germany’s factory orders declined 3.9% in January—more than the expected decline of 1.9%.

At 3:50 AM EST on March 8, the DAX Index was trading at 12,246.50—a drop of 0.01%. The iShares MSCI Germany (EWG) gained 0.8% on Wednesday.

France

France’s CAC 40 Index started this week on a stronger note following the pullback last week. Maintaining the strength, the CAC 40 Index gained in the first three days of the week and opened higher on Thursday. Easing concerns about a global trade war improved the market sentiment in the morning session and supported the CAC 40 Index. The market is looking forward to the release of France’s government budget balance data. The data are scheduled to be released on Friday.

At 4:00 AM EST today, the CAC 40 Index was trading at 5,199.21—a gain of 0.24%. The iShares MSCI France (EWQ) rose 0.47% on Wednesday.

Next, we’ll discuss how US markets performed on March 7.

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