Asian stocks and S&P futures fall modestly and European shares are little changed as traders digested the surprising reticence from yesterday's ECB meeting and weighed earnings reports from companies including Microsoft, which soared to all time highs after beating non-GAAP estimates, and Daimler.
The camp predicting that the European Central Bank will soon cut rates is growing. Economists at Citi, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Credit Suisse, and a few other shops think the ECB will pull the trigger on Thursday, announcing a cut to its benchmark refinancing rate — which currently stands at 0.25% — by either 10 or 15 basis points.
FRANKFURT — The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged on Thursday, pausing to assess the health of the eurozone recovery after taking action a month earlier in response to falling inflation, which is now abating.
The decision to hold the main refinancing rate at a record low of 0.25% was widely expected after the ECB’s surprise decision to cut borrowing costs last month.
Ahead of this Thursday's ECB meeting, speculation is rife about what Mario Draghi will announce, and as the following Nomura chart highlights most pundits are convinced that the most likely announcement is a cut in the refi and deposit rate with a probability of around 90%, an LTRO in distant third at 34%, and a full blown QE dead last with 10%.