European Stocks Inch Up After ECB Holds Interest Rates

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By Jacob Maslow

European shares bounced back from 15-month lows on Thursday following reports of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) decision to keep key interest rates unchanged.

S&P and Nasdaq futures also turned positive following the news.

The pan-European STOXX 600 inched up 0.6 % after the ECB monetary policy decision, despite vacillating between gains and losses in morning trading.

The Euro benchmark dropped 3.2% yesterday over global growth concerns. Worries over China’s lingering slowdown and plummeting oil prices sent the Stoxx 600 into a bear market last week, dragging it down by as much as 12 % this year.

The measures adopted by the ECB last month left traders disappointed, sending the STOXX 600 spiraling down to its worst December since 2002.

The ECB is expected hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. (local time) from the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt.

Meanwhile, Dow futures traded about 6 points lower after plunging 100 points in pre-market trade as uncertainty in China and new lows in oil prices continued to fan fears in most markets.

Asian markets experienced losses on Thursday, with the Nikkei closing around 2.4% lower, dragging the index deeper into bear territory after losing 3.71% just the day before.

China’s main Shanghai Composite dropped by 3%, while the Shenzhen lost 4% of its value.


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