Major Asian markets closed sharply lower on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.25 points, as widely expected. The central bank also said that it expects two more rate hikes in 2018. Traders were in a cautious mood after reports suggested the Trump administration is preparing to proceed with tariffs on Chinese goods later today.
European markets closed higher after the European Central Bank laid out plans to end its €2.4tn bond-buying programme, also known as quantitative easing (QE), by the end of the year. The central bank also said it kept key interest rates unchanged and stressed it expects them to remain at "present levels at least through the summer of 2019."
London-listed Rolls-Royce remained near the top of the benchmark throughout the day, closing 6.5 percent higher as the jet engine manufacturer announced plans to slash 4,600 jobs as parts of efforts to streamline the business and boost profit margins.
Across the Atlantic, U.S. stocks closed on a mixed note. The tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed to a new record closing high as dealmaking activity lifted technology and media shares while the Dow Jones closed lower for the third straight day.
Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox rose 2.1 percent after NBCUniversal-parent Comcast announced a bid to buy several major units of the media giant excluding Fox News for $65 billion. It is the largest all-cash deal ever, surpassing Bayer’s $64 billion merger with Monsanto, according to Thomson Reuters.
On the data front, US business inventories grew 0.3% in April and US retail sales increased 0.8% in May.
World Markets Headlines Today
Asian markets under pressure as US Fed lifts rates overnight (Nikkei Asian Review)
India: Sensex falls 250 points, Nifty below 10800, PSU bank, IT stocks dive (Mint)
Australia: Stocks dip after Fed hikes (Australian Business Review)
European markets seen lower ahead of ECB meeting (CNBC)
European Shares Look Set To Slip Ahead Of ECB Meeting (RTT News)
European markets are broadly higher today with shares in Germany leading the region (CNN Money)
Don’t be a bull in the headlights as central banks stop propping up stock markets (Marketwatch)
Dow Fluctuates as Wall Street Assesses a Hawkish Fed (The Street)
U.S. Stocks Gain on Technology, Media Giants (Bloomberg)
Gold slips as Fed signals two more rate raises, Oil prices fall as US crude production hits another record (Reuters)
25 Major Markets Stock Indices Closing Data
All Continents Stock Indices Closing Data
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was off 0.99% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.93%. China's Shanghai Composite lost 0.17%. South Korea's KOSPI lost 1.84%. Mumbai's Sensex decreased 0.39% while Nifty 50 was lower by 0.45%. Australia's ASX200 fell 0.11% Singapore's STI finished the day 1.05% in the hole. Jakarta's stock market will be closed all week for the celebration of Eid-Ul-Fitr and Taiwan's Weighted Index was off 1.43%.
The Paneuropean STOXX600 was up 1.23%. France's CAC gained 1.39%. London's FTSE was higher by 0.81%. Belgium's BEL 20 increased 0.44%. Amsterdam's AEX grew 0.64%. Moscow's Stock Exchange IMOEX was off 0.76%.
In Southern Europe, Lisbon's PSI20 was down 0.76% while Spain's IBEX 35 was higher by 0.59% and Italy's FTSE MIB grew 1.22%. In Scandinavia, Stockholm's OMXS30 advanced 1.08% while Copenhagen's OMXC25 was up 0.79%. Helsinki's OMXHPI finished the day 0.61% in the green.
In Central Eastern Europe, Budapest's BUX jumped 2.19% while Warsaw's WIG fell 0.14%. Prague's PX moved downward 0.61% and Bratislava's SAX was unchanged. Tallinn's OMXT ticked up 0.03% while Riga's OMXR was off 0.47%. In Vilnius, the OMXV grew 0.27%.
In South Eastern Europe, Bucharest's BET gained 1.54% while Sofia's Sofix increased 0.41%. Belgrade's Belex 15 grew 0.15%. Podgorica's MNSE10 lost 0.21%. Sarajevo's SASX10 was up 0.14% while Banja Luka's BIRS was unchanged. Ljubljana's SBI Top fell 0.12%. Zagreb's Crobex increased 0.24%. In Skopje, the MBI10 was up 0.41%. Istanbul's BIST100 rose 1.11%. In Athens, the General Index finished the day 1.17% in the green while in Nicosia increased 0.73%.
Botswana's DCI was up 0.04% while Dar Es Salaam's ASI gained 0.92%. Egypt's EGX30 grew 0.26%. Johannesburg's ASI was higher by 0.10%. Casablanca's MASI lost 0.47%. Malawi's ASI dropped 0.13%. Nigeria's ASI was down 0.27% while Nairobi's ASI ticked down 0.01%. Namibia's Overall Index increased 0.92%. Mauritius' SEMDEX moved downward 0.15% and Tunisia's TUNINDEX advanced 0.22%. Uganda's ASI was higher by 0.64% and Zimbabwe's Industrial Index decreased 0.27%.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones was off 0.10% while the S&P gained 0.25%. The Nasdaq advanced 0.85%. In Canada, the S&P TSX was higher by 0.39%.