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23.01.2015 19:00

European stock markets mid-session: Indices continue to rally after ECB stimulus

European indices continue to rally after the ECB unveiled a large scale quantitative easing program of 60 billion euro a month starting from March 2015 until September 2016 - a stimulus program well above expectations. The central bank kept its interest rate unchanged at 0.05%. Banks and cyclical stocks were among the best performers. A weaker euro is broadly seen as major boost to exports.

Although markets are supported by the ECB's unprecedented stimulus concerns over the outcome and the consequences of the Greek elections on January 25th are still weighing as the next Greek government will have to decide whether to extend the international bailout or not. The anti-austerity party Syriza leads in polls by almost 5%.

While the French Services PMI for January was below expectations with a reading of 49.5 compared to 50.9 German Services PMI improved from 52.1 to 52.7 beating estimates by 0.1.

The Manufacturing PMI in France improved according to Markit Economics with a reading of 49.5, compared to forecasts of 48.1 and a previous reading of 47.5.Whereas Germany's Manufacturing PMI fell unexpectedly last month. The index declined from 51.2 to 51.0. Economists expected a reading of 51.8.

Eurozone's PMI Services beat expectations by 0.1 points with a reading of 52.7. Manufacturing PMI was in line with forecasts at 51.0.

In today's session the FTSE 100 index is trading +0.16% quoted at 6,807.79. France's CAC 40 added +1.95% trading at 4,641.39. Germany's DAX 30 is currently trading +1.48% at 10,590.15 points, a new all-time high.

Market focus

  • ECB could introduce new policy tools if needed - ECB's Vasle
  • German economy ministry says does not expect bigger economic downturn
  • Current ECB policy not there for decades - ECB's Holzmann
  • Eurozone trade surplus unexpectedly widened in July
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