The German market declined on Thursday, erasing early gains, after the nation's industrial production dropped more than expected in February and manufacturing production in the U.K. fell for a second month. The Asian markets were mixed, while the U.S. index futures are lower.
France raised 8.439 billion euros from the medium-to-long term bond auction, almost near the top end of the target range. The debt management agency AFT sold 1.31 billion euros five-year OAT at a yield of 1.96 percent. The borrowing cost rose slightly from 1.91 percent at the prior auction on March 1.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing 1.33 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is dropping 0.77 percent.
The DAX index opened higher, but erased those gains later and is currently losing 1.17 percent.
Daimler is declining 5.4 percent. Volkswagen is dropping 2.1 percent and BMW is falling 1.3 percent.
Commerzbank is losing 3.25 percent. Deutsche Bank is falling 2.25 percent.
Metro is down 3.1 percent. Steel giant ThyssenKrupp is losing 2.3 percent.
Exane BNP cut Merck to "Neutral" from "Outperform." The stock is down 1.1 percent.
Man, Adidas and Fresenius are in positive territory.
Air Berlin reported a decline in capacity and passenger numbers for March as well as first quarter. The stock is down 0.5 percent.
Kabel Deutschland, which has filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Telekom on cable ducts usage pricing, is falling 0.4 percent. Deutsche Telekom is losing 1.4 percent.
Salzgitter is down 0.2 percent after receiving a broker upgrade.
Pfeiffer Vacuum was raised to "Buy" from "Add" at Commerzbank. The stock is adding 1.5 percent.
JPMorgan initiated Hugo Boss with an "Overweight" rating. The stock is advancing 1.2 percent.
Elsewhere in Europe, the French CAC 40 is losing 0.71 percent and the UK's FTSE 100 is falling 0.60 percent. Switzerland's SMI is losing 0.53 percent.
In economic news, Germany's industrial production declined more than expected in February, data from the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology showed. Industrial output dropped 1.3 percent in February from a month ago, offsetting January's 1.2 percent growth. Economists had expected a 0.5 percent decrease.
UK manufacturing production in February fell 1 percent from a month earlier, while expectations were for a 0.1 percent increase, data from the Office for National Statistics showed. However, industrial production increased 0.4 percent month-on-month, in line with economists' expectations.
The Bank of England is set to announce its monetary policy decision at 7.00 am ET. Policymakers are likely to maintain its 325 billion pounds bond purchases. The central bank is also seen holding its 0.050 percent record low interest rate.
Across Asia/Pacific, Australia's All Ordinaries lost 0.38 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.95 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 retreated 0.53 percent. However, China's Shanghai Composite Index, which opened after a three-day break, climbed 1.74 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the Dow fell 1 percent, the Nasdaq plunged 1.5 percent and the S&P 500 dropped 1 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for May delivery is gaining $0.33 to $101.80 per barrel and June gold is rising $8.9 to $1623 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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