The French market is in negative territory in afternoon trading Thursday, following weak economic reports from Europe and China, a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve refrained from announcing any aggressive stimulus measures as hoped by investors.
Spain's borrowing costs climbed again at a debt auction despite rising demand. The Spanish Treasury raised 2.2 billion euros from the sale of its 2, 3, and 5-year bonds. The proceeds slightly exceeded the maximum target of 2 billion euros set for the auction.
The country is set to release crucial bank stress test results later today and make a formal request for financial aid to the European Union.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is declining 0.28 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is dropping 0.31 percent.
The CAC 40 index is currently losing 0.41 percent.
Michelin is declining 2.8 percent. Carmakers Renault and Peugeot are losing 2.4 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.
EDF, Vivendi, Technip, Danone, Vallourec, PPR and France Telecom are losing notably.
GDF Suez is gaining 1.8 percent. Insurer Axa is adding 1.2 percent.
Lafarge is rising 0.7 percent after HSBC raised the stock to "Overweight" from "Neutral."
Commerzbank raised EADS to "Buy" from "Hold." The stock is up 0.5 percent.
Air France-KLM is climbing 6.5 percent. The firm plans to a 5,120 reduction in headcount at Société Air France by December 2013.
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is losing 0.39 percent and the UK's FTSE 100 is falling 0.62 percent. Switzerland's SMI is sliding 0.08 percent.
In economic news, a survey by Markit Economics showed that Germany suffered the steepest contraction in manufacturing activity in three years in June amid a faster decline in new export orders. The Eurozone private sector output also shrank at the steepest pace in three years in June.
Markit Economics said that the flash HSBC purchasing managers' index for manufacturing sector in China fell to a seven-month low of 48.1 in June from 48.4 in May.
U.K. retail sales recovered at a faster than expected pace in May after easing in April, the Office for National Statistics said.
Across Asia/Pacific, major markets ended lower. Australia's All Ordinaries lost 1 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index retreated 1.4 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1.3 percent. However, Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 0.8 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the major averages bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually ending the session mixed. While the Nasdaq crept up less than a tenth of a percent, the Dow edged down 0.1 percent and the S&P 500 slipped 0.2 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for August delivery is losing $0.88 to $80.57 per barrel and August gold is losing $15.7 to $1600.1 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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