This comes after the futures contracts linked to major U.S. stock indexes closed on Wednesday, as investors watched the ongoing edge management between lawmakers on a new forward-looking stimulus package. President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday threatened to act on its own to bring coronavirus relief after another day of talks on Capitol Hill failed to reach a deal.
Asia-Pacific stocks traded mixed on Thursday, with investors monitoring simmering tensions between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies.
Back in Europe, the Bank of England said on Thursday it was keeping benchmark interest rates at a historically low 0.1% and had left the size of its bond buying program unchanged at 745 billion pounds ($ 981 billion).
The British pound climbed 0.4% to a new five-month high of $ 1.317 shortly after the announcement. The British currency has since slashed its gains.
The BOE said the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to have fallen 20% in the second quarter compared to the last three months of last year. The central projection of the Monetary Policy Committee was for the UK’s GDP to continue to recover beyond the near term, but it warned that the economy is unlikely to exceed its pre-pandemic level before the end of 2021.
Regarding individual stocks, the French diagnostic company Eurofins jumped to the top of the European benchmark during the morning’s trading. Shares of the Paris-listed stock jumped more than 13% after the company launched a new, lower-cost product to detect the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, British engineer Meggitt fell to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 amid speculation the company may need to raise new equity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The company said in a statement Thursday that its financial and liquidity position remained strong, Reuters reported. Shares of the London-listed stock slipped more than 6%.