Global stocks rise on Arm trade debut as ‘dovish’ ECB hike hits euro

FILE PHOTO: A speaker addresses Chinese investors in front of screens showing stock indexes at a trading house in Shanghai on 25 September 2009. China called on the US on 24 September to ensure the stability of the weak US dollar, saying it was critical to global recovery driven by trade in the key reserve currency. (Photo by PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP)

Global stock markets rose while the Euro slid on Thursday after the European Central Bank (ECB) signaled its latest interest rate hike could be its last.

The major stock indexes on Wall Street rose following positive economic data, while chip designer Arm saw its share price surge almost 25 percent on its trading debut in New York.

The SoftBank-supported firm’s banner initial public offering left it with a market capitalization of around $65 billion — well above its target.

Arm’s IPO netted SoftBank almost $5 billion while leaving it with control over approximately 90 percent of the company.

“I want to keep as much as possible as long as possible,” SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son told CNBC on Thursday.

“I’m a long-term believer,” he added.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose almost one percent, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both increased.

‘Reached the peak’?

In Frankfurt, the ECB opted for another interest rate hike of 0.25 percentage points on Thursday as it continues the fight against inflation, taking the closely-watched deposit rate to its highest level since the introduction of the euro in 1999.

The bank defied calls for a pause to take pressure off the faltering eurozone economy, even as it cut growth forecasts.

In its updated forecast, the ECB now sees inflation falling to a near-target level of 2.1 percent in 2025.

The central bank’s Governing Council said it “considers that the key ECB interest rates have reached levels” that over time should make a “substantial contribution” to returning inflation to its target level of two percent.

“This is a clear and deliberate signal to the market that the ECB thinks it is done for now and we have reached the peak in rates,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Finalto.

The euro traded lower against the dollar due to the “dovish hike,” he added.

Eurozone stocks, which were trading lower beforehand, bounced higher.

Other analysts were not so categorical that the ECB was done with hiking rates.

“A lingering pause is being signaled, but it’s a low-conviction pause,” said Mark Wall, chief European economist at Deutsche Bank Research.

“The ECB has retained the option to hike further if necessary,” he added.

London’s FTSE 100 gained two percent on rising commodity prices, including oil, and the falling pound.

Crude prices remain elevated, with some analysts warning they could soon return to more than $100 per barrel.

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