The UK market is trading lower on Friday, after Germany's business confidence deteriorated more than expected and Moody's Investors Service downgraded the credit ratings of 15 major banks, including Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, UBS and HSBC. The Asian markets fell on growth fears, following weak data from the U.S. overnight.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing 0.03 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 0.18 percent.
The FTSE 100 is falling 0.67 percent.
Miners are broadly lower. BHP Billiton is falling 2.2 percent. The mining giant said an investment of $845 million has been approved to sustain operations at Illawarra Coal, in southern New South Wales, Australia by establishing a replacement mining area at the Appin Mine.
Petrofac is losing 5.5 percent. BP is losing 1.5 percent and Royal Bank of Scotland is falling 1.4 percent.
Michael Page is declining around 6 percent, reportedly on a broker downgrade.
Despite the news of the downgrade, Barclays is up 0.7 percent, Lloyds Banking is climbing 1.9 percent and Royal Bank of Scotland is up 0.2 percent.
RBS said it disagrees with the Moody's cut, blaming the ratings agency for not acknowledging the bank's improvements properly unlike other rating agencies. Lloyds expects no material effect from the downgrade.
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is losing 0.57 percent and the French CAC 40 is falling 0.34 percent. Switzerland's SMI is sliding 0.13 percent.
In economic news, Germany's business sentiment weakened more than expected in June, reports said citing the latest survey results from Ifo Institute. The business confidence index fell to 105.3 from 106.9 a month ago. Economists were expecting the index to fall to 105.6.
The deterioration in Germany's business confidence reinforces fears of economic stagnation and a possible recession in the near term, Capital Economics Chief European Economist Jonathan Loynes said.
The economist said that the disappointing Ifo survey has dealt a major blow to hopes that strong growth and higher inflation in Germany would help solve the euro-zone crisis.
Across Asia/Pacific, markets ended firmly in the red. Australia's All Ordinaries lost around 1 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 1.4 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 slid 0.3 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, stocks moved sharply lower as a batch of disappointing U.S. economic data inspired traders to cash in on the gains seen over the past two weeks. The Dow plunged 2 percent, the Nasdaq tumbled 2.4 percent and the S&P 500 declined 2.2 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for August delivery is adding $0.58 to $78.78 per barrel and August gold is gaining $5.3 to $1570.8 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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