The FTSE 100 fell on Thursday, halting a three-day rally which saw London’s leading index breach the highest levels since the selloff in March.
The FTSE 100 inline with global stocks with weakness in US and mainland Europe indices. However, the tech-focused US NASDAQ bucked the trend and continued to tip toe higher towards all-time record highs.
The culmination of US riots and concerns over China gave markets reason to pause, although the declines were slight and it appears the market has stopped for breath, as opposed to displaying any signs of volatility.
The market also digested the latest ECB meeting and the announcement of a fresh wave of stimulus in the form of €600 billion in asset purchases. The latest measures adds to previous stimulus measures and with rates already negative, bond purchases are the most powerful tool at the ECB’s disposal.
“Today’s easing measures were another illustration that the ECB means business and stands ready to do whatever is necessary to help the euro area survive the corona crisis in one piece. The ECB will do its part, and it hopes the governments will do their part,” said Nordea analysts in a note.
Such a large injection of liquidity would usually be cheered by markets but it failed to turn the equity markets positive on the day.
The selling of stocks in the FTSE 100 was broad with most industry sectors falling, particularly cyclical sectors that have enjoyed gains over the past month.
Equity markets have recorded some of the sharpest gains in history since the March selloff with the valuations of stocks decoupling form the underling economic environment highlighted by further job losses in the United States.
In the UK, investors received news of jobs cuts in the car industry with Aston Martin and Lookers both cutting jobs after a destruction in car purchases. In the hospitality industry the owner of Wagamamas and Franky and Benny’s, Restaurant Group, outlined outlet closures.