European stocks mixed ahead of earnings & BoE statement

Morning Note

Investors showed mixed sentiment this morning on a day that promises much in the way of earnings and central bank announcements.

At the time of writing, the FTSE 100 had retreated by over seven points. The DAX and CAC were performing much better, adding 17.8 and 22.38 points respectively. From a pan-European perspective, the Stoxx 50 was trading 17.00 upwards.

Many UK investors are essentially waiting for today’s Bank of England statements. Governor Bailey is due to outline the central bank’s monetary policy at midday today. Inflation is expected to be the day’s running theme.

Inflation has so far overshot established target levels for two consecutive months. The Bank’s response will be critical today. So far, there are two schools of thought predicting what the BoE might do. On one side, economists broadly think Bailey will up inflation targets. Investors, on the other hand, believe that the Bank will stick to a dovish tack, leaving its interest and QE stance unchanged.

UK CPI was up 0.5% in June on a month-by-month basis. This was way ahead of estimates and the fastest CPI growth rate reported since May 2018.

It’s likely the Bank of England is still feeling cautiously optimistic. It has predicted that inflation will peak at 3% in 2021 before falling away next year. The BoE says it has yet to see any evidence that the current acceleration in CPI is anything but transitionary.

Despite the surge in Delta variant COVID-19 cases across the last month, UK infection rates have broadly trended down throughout July and August. That gives some hope that the country will be able to return to full normality quicker than other economies. Pretty much all restrictions have been removed.

Ahead of today’s BoE announcement, GBP/USD had recaptured the 1.390 level. At the time of writing, cable had reached 1.394 and was up 0.19% on the day. Its future course will be decided later when we get more info on the Bank of England’s QE bond-buying stance.

EUR/USD had stayed mostly flat at 1.1837.

In terms of earnings, European large caps reporting today include Siemens, Adidas, Merck, Bayer, Intesa Sanpaolo and WPP.

Looking to US markets, the Nasdaq was showing positive movements, trending up nearly 20 points. The Dow Jones and S&P 500, however, were down pre-market, with the Dow sliding 0.9%. The S&P 500’s downward trend was in the 0.5% region at the time of writing.

On Wall Street, large caps reporting include Square and Virgin Galactic. You can find a rundown of the companies sharing earnings today with our US earnings season calendar.