The UK market is lower in afternoon trading Thursday, weighed down by lenders, 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 0.24 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 0.43 percent.
The FTSE 100 index is losing around 1 percent.
Barclays is declining 10.2 percent, Royal Bank of Scotland is losing 7.1 percent and Lloyds Banking is retreating 6.7 percent. HSBC is falling 2.7 percent.
ICAP is falling 4.3 percent and IMI is dropping 4.8 percent.
Ladbrokes is declining nearly 11 percent after the company said it expects digital profits in the first half to be down "further than anticipated."
Associated British Engineering is falling 8.3 percent. The company reported a loss for the year.
Department store group Debenhams said sales for the 16 weeks ended June 23 grew from last year, amid a challenging trading period and unseasonal weather. The company also said it remains comfortable with market estimates for full-year profit before tax, but sees lower gross margins. The stock is down 1.7 percent.
DS Smith is up 1.8 percent. The firm reported a higher annual profit and announced a 31 percent increase in dividend.
Severn Trent is up 1.1 percent. The company and Costain Group have entered into a new Joint Venture to provide complete business water and wastewater management services to high volume commercial and industrial water users. Costain shares are up 1.4 percent.
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is falling 1.22 percent and the French CAC 40 is losing 0.52 percent. Switzerland's SMI is dropping 0.3 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
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org