Volatility is king in stock markets right now.
European markets opened with big gains on Thursday morning — most over 1% — with some market commentators putting the rise down to expectations of an infrastructure spending spree from President Trump once he gets to the White House.
But, despite the Dow Jones surging to a record high, European traders lost their nerve in the afternoon and stock markets across the continent are nursing losses, many over 1%, at the close of play.
One of the biggest fall came in London. Here’s how the FTSE 100 looks — a pretty clear illustration of how confidence ebbed throughout the day:
Here’s how the other major indices across Europe ended:
While those figures may not look like big falls, bar London and Spain, they represent huge swings from where the markets opened, with most down over 1% from intraday highs.
Connor Campbell, a market analyst at SpreadEx, says in an email this afternoon: “It is hard to work out the reason behind the shift. For the FTSE, heavy losses from gold miners Fresnillo and RandGold Resources have contributed to its decline, as has the red-tinged nature of BP, Shell, Glaxo and Astra and the current sell-off plaguing government bonds. Yet it must be noted, however, that the mining and banking sectors are in rude health this afternoon, confusing the picture as to exactly why the FTSE finds itself at a loss.
“It is perhaps apt that the reaction to Donald Trump’s victory has been so confused, flipping between bombast and baloney much in the same manner as the soon to be President. That’s all well and good for the short-term, especially for those traders looking to benefit from the present volatility; one suspects the seemingly rudderless movements may soon wear thin, however.”
The most common phrase used by analysts to describe the global political and economic landscape in the wake of Trump’s victory is “uncertainty” — no one is quite sure whether he will make good on all of the policies he promised during his campaign. Until we have a better idea, traders are feeling skittish.
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