Global stocks slip, euro rises in wake of ECB decision
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of global equity markets fell modestly and the euro strengthened on Thursday after the European Central Bank fell short of market hopes for a dovish tone regarding its bond-buying program.
ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank was looking at options to enable it to pursue the money-printing program, but maintained the March end-date for the plan, disappointing investors who were looking for more immediate action, including an extension or expansion of the current plan.
Mixed data over the past month in Europe, including German industrial orders this week that showed the steepest drop in almost two years, led many market participants to speculate the ECB might take additional actions in order to stimulate Euro Zone growth.
"He sort of shut the door on further easing. That was not expected," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.
"The central banks, whether it is the U.S. or the ECB, it is clear they can change their mind on a whim, so this can certainly be changed again."
The euro EUR= gained ground after Draghi's comments, hitting a two-week high of $1.1326 before paring gains to trade up 0.15 percent at $1.1254. The dollar .DXY touched a low of 94.465 against a basket of major currencies before rebounding to trade up 0.1 percent at 95.054.
European shares closed lower, with the FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 off 0.38 percent at 1,374.26.
A 2.6 percent decline in shares of Apple (AAPL.O: Quote) weighed on each of the three major U.S. stock indexes in the wake of its annual event on Wednesday. The company also said it would not release details on first-weekend sales of the newly announced iPhone 7. Continued...