European stocks open in the red as investors digest central bank moves


European stocks opened lower Friday, as investors digested a slew of central bank rate hikes from the region and beyond.

The Stoxx 600 was down 0.2% at market open, with most sectors and major bourses trading in the red.

Food and beverages, healthcare and retail were the only sectors to have made gains, with healthcare up 0.5%.

Oil and gas stocks were the biggest fallers, down 1.26% after the open.

Traders will now be eyeing the euro zone’s S&P Global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data, due later this morning.

Thursday’s market moves come after the Bank of England hiked rates by 50 basis points Thursday — its seventh consecutive increase, and the Swiss National Bank hiked its benchmark rate to 0.5%, a shift that brings an end to an era of negative rates in Europe.

The U.S. Federal Reserve, meanwhile, hiked by another three-quarters of a percentage point Wednesday, and indicated that the hikes will keep on coming.

Bank of England raises benchmark rate by 50 basis points

U.S. stocks closed lower Thursday, their third consecutive daily decline, and futures were also lower in early trade Friday.

Asia markets, meanwhile, were in the red, with Australian stocks down 2%.

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