The UK 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 0.35 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is dropping 0.41 percent.
The FTSE 100 index is losing 0.63 percent.
Miners are notably lower. BHP Billiton is falling 1.6 percent and Rio Tinto is losing 1.3 percent.
BP is dropping 2.3 percent and Royal Dutch Shell is falling 1.3 percent.
Engineering firm Invensys said it is no longer in discussions with Emerson Electric Co. regarding a possible offer for the company. The stock is plunging over 16 percent.
Ashtead is up 3.5 percent after boosting its profit forecast for the year.
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is losing 0.47 percent and the French CAC 40 is falling 0.58 percent. Switzerland's SMI is sliding 0.13 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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