European stocks experienced a slight dip as the week began amidst a shorter trading week due to upcoming holidays. The STOXX 600 index edged down by 0.1% on Monday, remaining just below its recent record highs achieved last week. While travel and leisure stocks saw gains, losses were observed in personal and household goods sectors.

Last week, major central banks’ dovish sentiments influenced market movements. The Federal Reserve reiterated its plan to cut interest rates by 75 basis points by year-end, aligning with the Bank of England’s indication of potential rate cuts amid positive economic progress—additionally, the unexpected decision by the Swiss National Bank to reduce borrowing costs added to market dynamics.

Analysts suggest that the SNB’s move is unlikely to set a trend, with the European Central Bank anticipated to proceed cautiously with its planned rate cuts in June. Investors expect gradual interest rate cuts from major central banks throughout the year, with predictions of 75 basis points of cuts by each bank.

Goldman Sachs has revised its year-end target for the STOXX 600 upwards, citing potential improvements in economic growth and monetary policy easing. This adjustment implies a nearly 6% increase from the index’s previous close.

The STOXX 600 is on track to mark a 6.4% quarterly gain, reflecting investor confidence in global monetary policy easing. Notable market movements include Direct Line’s shares falling by 13% following announcements from Belgian insurer Ageas and Swedish real estate group SBB, witnessing an 11.3% jump after unveiling plans to buy back debt at a discounted rate.

As the week progresses, European markets will be closed on Friday and Monday for the upcoming Easter holidays.

By Admin

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