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Stocks fell along with bonds after the European Central Bank said it would end eight years of negative interest rates and close the gap with global peers.
The ECB did not change the deposit rate this time, but is prepared to hike by a quarter point next month, and again by that amount or more if inflation, which is now above 8% in the eurozone, guarantees a tougher stance.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 continued its downtrend. Tesla Inc. rose after the company said month-over-month deliveries of cars made in China doubled.
ECB policy makers have lagged global peers at the Federal Reserve, Bank of Canada and Reserve Bank of Australia which have embarked on aggressive campaigns to subdue runaway inflation this year, hiking in 50-basis point increments.
The policy makers also announced fresh forecasts signaling a faster path than previously, alongside a weaker rebound from the pandemic. The central bank is also expected to end large-scale asset purchases in three weeks.
The Stoxx50 closed 1.5% lower, with real estate and technology shares leading declines.
"To rein in surging prices the Fed has to increase rates, which can result in a recession," Geir Lode, head of global equities at Federated Hermes, wrote in a note. "However, the pandemic-induced supply-chain shock and the Ukraine conflict are beyond the central bank's control. In this environment we need to be lucky to avoid stagflation that could last for a long time."
Key events to watch this week:
- US CPI, University of Michigan consumer sentiment Friday
- China CPI, PPI Friday