Augusts usually take advantage of the summer of investors to give market scares that take away the hiccups. This year has been different. The month that has just left became the impasse between two meetings, those of the European Central Bank (ECB), which are setting the pace. On July 27, the same day that Christine Lagarde announced what is to date the last interest rate hike in the Eurozone, the national selective made annual highs at almost 9,700 points. 35 days later the Ibex starts the ninth month of the year with an eye on September 14, a new key date for the ECB about which there are many doubts.
In this drift of the market the Ibex 35 managed to close August being the best among the largest continental markets, despite suffering a fall of 1.4% that worsened the banks on Thursday. Sabadell shares were the most bearish of the session, with a collapse of more than 5%, followed by all banks in waterspout: Unicaja yielded 3.7%, CaixaBank and Bankinter above 3.3%, BBVA, 1.7% and Banco Santander (the most international entity and that has run the least of the large ones) was left 0.7% during the session.
The unflattering data released yesterday on inflation in the Eurozone suggest a step beyond the agency, a new rise in the price of money, but it is nothing written because the economy continues to slow down with the demand for loans plummeting. Theoretically, the balance sheet of the banks benefits from each rate hike, since it swells the income from lending money, especially in the early stages where the liabilities are still not paid, but the market, which discounts everything, fears beyond: a deeper recession than the ECB wants to cause to contain inflation.
The Eurozone's CPI rate has remained stuck at levels above 5%. According to the statistical agency of the European Commission, inflation remained stable in August, at 5.3% and this has had a bad reading in the market since it means not advancing towards the objective, despite all the measures that Frankfurt is carrying out to slow, in a controlled manner, the economy and prices.
In this monthly balance, the fall of the Ibex is multiplied by almost 2.6 times by the EuroStoxx 50, which is the reference index that groups the large listed companies in the region. The selective lost 3.7% in August, and saves by the minimum the level of 4,300 points. The fall of luxury giants such as Louis Vuitton (LVMH) weighs heavily, which yields 8%, which means more than 25,000 million euros only in its case. The London Stock Exchange is the second most bearish index, with a fall of 3.4%, followed by the German Dax (with 3%), the Parisian Cac (which yields 2.4%) while the Milan footsie, loses 1.7%. The Italian stock market is the one with a composition more similar to the Spanish one given the high weight of banking, with a weighting that exceeds 30% only among financial companies.
Who stands out in the Ibex? Laboratorios Rovi is the most bullish value of last month, thanks to a revaluation close to 20%. The pharmaceutical company of the Belmonte family overtakes Inditex and is in second place in the Ibex so far this year. Its profits exceed 40% and threaten the leadership of Fluidra, whose shares are revalued by 43% in what is the best season for the pool manufacturer.
Among the most bullish firms are large stocks such as Repsol, CaixaBank and Bankinter at the forefront of profits last month.
However, and despite what it may seem, the summer has not been so bad for the European market. The Ibex 35 lost 0.9% between July and August, slightly more than the 0.75% that the EuroStoxx fell or the 0.16% of Milan. The Frankfurt Stock Exchange is the most bullish on the continent, with gains of 1.8%.