Bel 20 sinks to lowest point in almost two years
The Brussels stock exchange fell to its lowest level since November 2020 on Thursday. Just after 12:50 a.m., a daily loss of some 1.8 percent to around 3,520 points was recorded. Investors are increasingly worried about the business cycle in Belgium.
Bel 20, the stock market index of Euronext Brussels, has not dropped to just above the 3,500-point mark since November of 2020. Growing concerns about the economy are weighing on stock market sentiment. The markets are expecting the European Central Bank to raise interest rates by more than expected in order to curb the rapid rise in inflation.
In August, inflation reached 9.9 percent in Belgium, compared to 9.1 percent in the eurozone. Higher interest rates make borrowing more expensive and should thus reduce demand in the economy, which in turn will reduce inflation. The ECB summit will take place next Thursday.
With around 6.3 percent, stainless steel manufacturer Aperam suffers the biggest losses. The company consumes a lot of electricity and was therefore already forced to reduce production, for example in Genk, because energy prices are currently sky-high. Property companies WDP and VGP are also losing a lot of ground. WDP is still keeping the loss below 4 percent, while VGP loses more than 5 percent. Both companies specialise in logistics property.
Elsewhere in Europe, losses were more limited. The stock exchanges of Paris and Amsterdam lose about 1.5 percent. Frankfurt is almost 1.4 percent lower, London 1.5 percent.
© BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM