Monday, September 10 11:17:20
Global stocks and the euro dipped today as investors cashed in some of last week's sharp gains ahead of a German ruling on the euro zone's new bailout fund, Dutch elections and potential new stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The European Central Bank's statement last week that it was prepared to buy an unlimited amount of strained euro zone government bonds pushed European shares to a 13-month high and the euro to a four-month high on hopes it could mark a turning point in the bloc's 2-1/2 year crisis.
Investors started the week by taking some of that profit off the table. The FTSEurofirst index of European equities was down 0.15 percent by 0930 GMT, with the euro and stock markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt all slightly lower.
Europe faces another testing week, with Dutch voters going to the polls and Germany's constitutional court set to rule on new powers for the European Stability Mechanism, the euro zone's new bailout fund, both on Wednesday.
Since ECB President Mario Draghi first mooted the ECB's new crisis plan on July 26, world stock markets have rallied more than 8 percent, euro zone blue chips have jumped almost 20 percent and the euro has risen more than 4 percent. Analysts are wondering whether the gains can continue.
"The Draghi effect obviously helped the markets hugely, so people are likely to be a bit more hesitant this week," said Hans Peterson global head of investment strategy at SEB private banking. "Risk appetite is likely to be on the way up, but we have to clear some hurdles, and the things in Europe have to go according to plan. The key issue this week is the approval of the ESM by the German constitutional court."
Strategists at Goldman Sachs also issued an upbeat note on equities, saying that while there were worries over China's wobbling growth, the brighter European news and signs of gradual improvement in the U.S. were both positives.
"There is still room for market rallying," they said, citing their target for the Eurostoxx 50 to hit 2,700 points in the next 12 months. "From current levels, however, we expect further gains through to year-end, but at a slower pace," they added.