The German market is notably lower on Wednesday, after former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on Tuesday said preparations are being made for Greek exit from euro. Investors were also anxious as European Union leaders meet for a key summit.
European Union leaders are meeting in Brussels to hammer out an effective plan to rescue the euro in the wake of the threat posed by the probability of Greece exiting the single currency. The summit may unravel the growing disagreement between Germany and France over eurobonds and on assigning priority to growth over austerity.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is declining 2.00 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is dropping 1.41 percent.
The DAX index opened lower and is currently declining 1.67 percent.
Deutsche Boerse is declining 4.1 percent and airline Lufthansa is losing 3.9 percent.
ThyssenKrupp is falling 3.6 percent. Chipmaker Infineon Technologies is retreating 3 percent.
Commerzbank is losing 2.2 percent and Deutsche bank is falling 1.4 percent.
BMW and Volkswagen are notably lower while Daimler is moderately down.
Elsewhere in Europe, the French CAC 40 is declining 1.89 percent and the UK's FTSE 100 is losing 1.85 percent. Switzerland's SMI is losing 0.82 percent.
On the economic front, U.K. retail sales fell more than expected in April, data from the Office for National Statistics showed. Including automotive fuel, retail sales volume dropped 2.3 percent from a month ago, faster than the 0.8 percent decrease forecast by economists.
Meanwhile, minutes of Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee meeting showed that the panel decided to halt 325 billion pounds bond purchase programme in May through a split vote. Governor Mervyn King and seven other members voted to maintain quantitative easing unchanged, while David Miles sought 25 billion pounds increase to a total of 350 billion pounds.
Across Asia/Pacific, Australia's All Ordinaries and Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1.3 percent each, while Japan's Nikkei 225 retreated around 2 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.42 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street. In the previous session, stocks showed a notable move to the downside in the latter part of the trading day, despite a positive bias through much of the session. The Nasdaq dipped 0.3 percent, while the Dow edged down less than a tenth of a percent and the S&P 500 crept up 0.1 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for July delivery is losing $0.92 to $90.93 per barrel and June gold is falling $21.2 to $1555.4 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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