By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
What strategists are saying
“With the language having changed at the latest meeting, the [ECB] is likely to stay on hold this Thursday. We expect a dovish tone, but not too dovish,” said Daniele Antonucci, an economist at Morgan Stanley, in a note. “The Governing Council is likely to say that the growth momentum is somewhat slower, but we doubt that it’ll be very concerned about this,given that it’s likely to see it in the context of a still robust pace of expansion. We think that the next shift in communication, on when and how QE will end, is likely to come at the June meeting.”
What data were in focus?
IHS Markit said it’s flash April reading for eurozone services activity was at 55.0, above a FactSet estimate of 54.8. The flash manufacturing PMI of 56.0 met expectations.
Stocks in focus
UBS /zigman2/quotes/206994749/delayed CH:UBSG -0.35% /zigman2/quotes/206172872/composite UBS -1.96% fell 2.5%, but pared larger losses, even as the Swiss bank’s first-quarter earnings net profit rose 19%, supported by the performance of its wealth-management unit.
Rortork PLC /zigman2/quotes/200372942/delayed UK:ROR -1.58% jumped 10.9% as the maker of industrial flow-control equipment posted a 10% rise in first-quarter revenue and said it expects full-year revenue to increase on year despite a 5% currency headwind.
Metro AG /zigman2/quotes/200040888/delayed XE:B4B +2.61% tumbled 9.3% in the wake of the German retailer’s 2018 profit warning issued Friday, citing underperformance in its Russian business. HSBC cut its rating on Metro to reduce from buy, and Commerzbank cut its rating to hold from buy.
“Two consecutive communication mishaps in less than one year after the demerger have left investors puzzled and confidence may have evaporated,” said Commerzbank analyst Juergen Elfers in a research note.
Royal Philips NV shares /zigman2/quotes/204604645/delayed NL:PHIA -1.23% rose 5.5% as the Dutch technology company backed its target for the 2017-2020 years of 4%-6% comparable sales growth and an average annual 100 basis points improvement in adjusted Ebita margin.