The Oxford English Dictionary defines a‘deluge’ as an overwhelming quantity of something arriving at the same time. And last trading week investors and traders certainly faced a deluge of news as not only did Japan, India, US and the UK hold their monetary policy meetings, which are always closely monitored by investors, a large number of listed companies also reported their Q2 2018 results.
The first to hold its monetary policy meeting was The Bank of Japan (BoJ) that, despite market expectations of changes to its ultra-loose massive stimulus programme, vowed to maintain "extremely low" interest rates while India’s Central Bank raised its benchmark interest rate to the highest in two years, increasing the rate to 6.5%. As expected by the markets, the US Federal Reserve (FED) took no action keeping rates in a range of 1.75%-2.0%. However, the Fed has previously forecast its intention to raise rates two more times in 2018, having already tightened policy twice this year. Traders are currently pricing in around a 90% chance of a 3rd rate hike in September, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool. Odds of a 4th rate hike by December was seen at about 70%. Markets also saw a 91% chance that the Bank of England (BoE) would raise its interest rates from 0.50% to 0.75%, despite growing risks from Brexit. The BoE did just that with the 0.25% interest rate hike considered quite symbolic as it means that for the first time the BoE rates are now again above the emergency lows of the 2007-2008 global financial meltdown.
As well as this “central bank deluge”, the trading week was also marked by an ‘earnings deluge’ with many companies reporting their 2nd quarter 2018 earnings. This week, on Wednesday August 8th, Ageas will also report its Q2 2018 results. (https://www.ageas.com/investors/quarterly-results). So in a deluge trading week, with investors again fearing that a trade war between the US and China could hit global growth, the Ageas share eventually closed at EUR 45.51 (stable) outperforming the Eurostoxx 50 (-1.3%).