Dovish Draghi drives up markets

Draghi weakens the euro and bolsters equities, as UK retail sales convert sport into sales, and McDonald's Q3 earnings boost its shares.

London Stock Exchange
Source: Bloomberg

Draghi proved a drag for euro bulls, yet European stock markets heard exactly what they wanted to today, pushing the likes of the FTSE, DAX and CAC higher following the ECB Q&A session. The decision from the ECB committee to leave the current asset purchase scheme unchanged was no major surprise, and those holding long positions on European indices were rewarded with a highly dovish set of statements from Draghi who left the door wide open for action at the December meeting. With 'emerging markets' – read: China – commodity prices and inflation leading a line of reasons for a more accommodative stance, Draghi made it clear there is an appetite among the committee to push the boat out.

December certainly seems the most likely time for eurozone monetary policy to be ramped up, when the ECB has to determine whether to raise the rate of purchases from the current €60 billion per month, cut the deposit rate yet further, or else push back the end date beyond the current September 2016 deadline.

UK retail sales received a welcome boost from the Rugby World Cup, despite the early exit of the hosts. The outperformance of retailers on almost every metric was a massive boost and improves the prospects for Q3 growth data. The decision to host an international sports tournament can be a controversial one, given the investment that often has to go ahead to prepare for such an event. However, when a tournament takes place in a country that is sufficiently developed and thus does not need to build new stadiums or facilities, it is an absolute no-brainer and will cause increased spending across shops and hospitality with very little investment.

McDonald’s shareholders were rewarded for their loyalty with the firm posting stellar sales – despite expectations that it could be struggling to adapt to the changing marketplace. This year represents the first in 40 years that McDonald's will close more locations than it opens, with the firm expected to suffer from rising costs and a strong dollar. Despite this, the introduction of a new menu has driven sales with China and the US given particular mentions for their strong performance.

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