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Markets lower with eyes on central banks

July 30, 2018 - 20:54 By AFP

LONDON (AFP) -- Asian and European stock markets slid Monday in a downbeat start to the week as investors waited on key global interest rate decisions.

Nearing midday in London, the British capital's benchmark FTSE 100 index
shed 0.1 percent, while Frankfurt dipped 0.2 percent and Paris pared 0.3
percent in eurozone early afternoon deals.


"Monday's barren economic calendar (has been) allowing the markets to stew ahead of the week's trio of central bank get-togethers," noted Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

"Turning to this afternoon and the Dow Jones (index) does not look like
it's going to move the needle when the bell rings on Wall Street."

The Bank of Japan will reveal the outcome of its latest monetary policy
meeting on Tuesday, followed by the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday and then the Bank of England on Thursday.

Asian markets dropped Monday, following Wall Street's downbeat finish last week on fears that US economic growth has peaked, and with investors cautious ahead of central bank news.

"The overnight sell-off in Asia has spilled over into Europe," said CMC
Markets UK analyst David Madden.

"Concerns about global trading tensions and some disappointing earnings
updates have soured investor confidence."

Last week, the European Central Bank was unperturbed by global trade
tensions Thursday, leaving unchanged its plans to exit massive eurozone
stimulus by December.

There has been widespread speculation about whether Japan's central bank may be looking to alter its ultra-loose monetary policy.

"Lacklustre trading continued as investors want to know the results of
Japanese and US central bankers' policy decisions," Yoshihiro Ito, chief
strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

On Monday meanwhile, trading was sluggish after investors reacted poorly to data showing the US economy expanded at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter.

While the rise matched analyst expectations and was hailed by US President Donald Trump, investors were unimpressed, sending stocks lower on a sense that the figures represent a peak.