Europe lower, Asia mixed after ECB keeps policy unchanged

Europe lower, Asia mixed after ECB keeps policy unchanged
Europe lower, Asia mixed after ECB keeps policy unchanged

European indexes were mostly lower in early trading Friday on disappointment over the European Central Bank’s decision to keep monetary policy unchanged, while Asian markets were mixed.

KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 fell 0.3 percent to 4,529.91 in early trading, while Germany’s DAX slipped 0.2 percent to 10,648.75. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.2 percent higher to 6,858.70. U.S. shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures slipping 0.1 percent and S&P 500 futures down 0.2 percent.

EUROPE FACTOR: Weighing on market sentiments was the European Central Bank decision to leave key interest rates unchanged. ECB President Mario Draghi also seemed relatively confident about the economy and less inclined to hint at more stimulus than some analysts had expected.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “Whatever the case, ECB’s inaction reinforces the consensus from the recent G-20 meeting that monetary policy by itself cannot lead to a balanced growth, implicitly hinting that fiscal policy needs to complement,” Bernard Aw of IG said in a commentary.

ENERGY: Oil prices lost some of their overnight surge, which followed a report indicating fuel stockpiles fell precipitously last week. Benchmark U.S. crude shed 60 cents to $47.02 a barrel in New York. It gained $2.12 to $47.62 overnight. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 67 cents to $49.32 in London.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rebounded from an initial drop to finish little changed at 16,965.76. South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.3 percent to 2,037.87 after North Korea conducted a nuclear test, rattling nerves across the region. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.8 percent to 24,099.70, while the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.6 percent to 3,078.85. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.9 percent to 5,339.20.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 102.19 yen from 101.50 yen late Thursday in Asia. The euro climbed to $1.1275 from $1.1253.