The French market is notably lower in afternoon trading Thursday, after data showed that German unemployment increased more than expected in June, before a crucial meeting of European Union leaders starting tonight.
Data from the Federal Labor Agency revealed that German unemployment rose by 7,000 in June from a month earlier compared to expectations for an increase of a more modest 3,000. In May, the number of unemployed persons increased by 1,000. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.8 percent.
Meanwhile, Eurozone economic confidence deteriorated to a 32-month low in June, a European Commission report revealed. The economic confidence index fell to 89.9, the lowest since October 2009, from 90.5 in May.
Italy sold its 5 and 10- year bonds at a debt auction at a higher price and the amount raised was slightly less than the maximum target set for the sale. The Italian treasury placed 2.5 billion euros of its 4.75 percent June 2017 treasury bonds to yield 5.84 percent, which was higher than 5.66 percent paid in the previous sale on May 30.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is falling 1.02 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 0.86 percent.
The CAC 40 index is currently losing 1.1 percent.
Alstom is declining 5.6 percent and Technip is dropping 3.5 percent.
BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole are losing between 2.9 percent and 2.2 percent.
Renault is falling 1.4 percent, while Peugeot is up 0.4 percent.
Bouygues is dropping 1.2 percent. Barclays initiated the stock with an "Equalweight" rating.
Metal fabrication firm Vallourec is climbing 4.3 percent.
Veolia Environnement is adding around 1 percent. The utility is selling its UK regulated water activities to Rift Acquisitions Limited for 1.24 billion pounds.
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is falling 1.6 percent and the UK's FTSE 100 is losing 0.9 percent. Switzerland's SMI is dropping 0.5 percent.
Across Asia/Pacific, markets had a mixed outing. Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 1.7 percent and Australia's All Ordinaries edged up 0.04 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index lost around 1 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.8 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the major averages ended the day firmly in positive territory as traders reacted positively to a batch of relatively upbeat U.S. economic data. The Dow rose 0.7 percent, the Nasdaq climbed 0.7 percent and the S&P 500 advanced 0.9 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for August delivery is falling $0.16 to $80.05 per barrel and August gold is losing $8.0 to $1570.4 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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