Stock Market Open: Stocks Higher On ECB Interest Rate Action

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The European Central Bank followed through on expectations Thursday and cut interest rates by 10 basis points, triggering a slide in the euro against the dollar and sending European stock prices higher.

At the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 60 points or 0.23%. The S&P 500 gained 0.32% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.53%.

The ECB also announced a bond purchase package, committing itself to an ultraloose monetary policy for an extended period. The move is designed to isolate the eurozone from trade tensions and a global downturn. The move commits departing ECB President Mario Draghi’s successor, Christine Lagarde, to negative interest rates and an open-ended quantitative easing program. Lagarde last week indicated she’s on board.

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U.S. President Donald Trump, who derided the Federal Reserve as “boneheads” Thursday for resisting his call to lower interest rates aggressively, accused the ECB of attempting to depreciate the euro with its move, hurting U.S. exports.

On the trade front, Trump held out his own olive branch to China after Beijing said it would exempt 16 U.S. imports from retaliatory tariffs ahead of the next round of trade talks. Trump said he would delay scheduled levies from taking effect on some Chinese imports for two weeks.

China hopes to narrow the scope of the coming talks in a bid to break an impasse. The Chinese hope to separate national-security issues after talks broke down in May.

The euro slid 0.39% against the dollar as the dollar index rose 0.31%. The British pound was off 0.12%.

Elsewhere, Asian global markets closed mixed. Hong Kong’s Heng Seng was off 0.26% while Japan’s Nikkei and China’s Shanghai Composite both added 0.75%. Australia’s S&P/ASX climbed 0.25%.

In mid-afternoon trading, London’s FTSE was up 0.8%, Germany’s DAX added 0.58% and the French CAC was 0.66% higher.

Crude oil futures were off 2.33% while gold and silver were higher.