The French market is moderately lower in afternoon trading Thursday, as global economic worries intensified after an unexpected slump in Australian employment and a surprise interest rate cut from South Korea. Asian markets ended mostly weak and the U.S. index futures indicate a lower start.
The European Central Bank said in its monthly bulletin that downside risk to economic outlook remains. Downside risks relate to a renewed increase in the tensions in several euro area financial markets and their potential spillover to the euro area real economy. Another risk is increase in energy prices over the medium term, it said.
Italy sold 7.5 billion euros in 12-month treasury bills, in line with its target. The cost of debt was lower than at an earlier auction, while demand was weaker.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing 1.01 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 1.24 percent.
The CAC 40 index is currently losing 0.72 percent.
Among lenders, Societe Generale is declining around 1 percent. BNP Paribas is flat while Credit Agricole is up 0.1 percent.
Cap Gemini is declining 3.6 percent and PPR is losing 2 percent.
ING cut Loreal to "Sell" from "Hold." The stock is down 1.3 percent.
Carrefour said its second-quarter sales dropped from a year ago driven by weakness in France and other parts of Europe. However, the grocer saw sustained growth in emerging markets. The stock is gaining 6.8 percent.
Peugeot is gaining 1.4 percent. The carmaker announced a project to reorganize its French production base and redeploy its workforce, but said it would report a loss for the first half of the year amid contraction in European demand and overcapacity in the group. The measures include reduction of 3,600 jobs across all of its facilities in France.
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is falling 1.19 percent and the UK's FTSE 100 is losing 1.28 percent. Switzerland's SMI is dropping 0.79 percent.
In economic news, industrial production in Eurozone recovered unexpectedly in May, the latest figures from Eurostat showed. Production rose 0.6 percent month-on-month in May, following a 1.1 percent decrease in the previous month. Economists expected no change in production volume during the month.
Across Asia/Pacific, markets ended mostly lower. Australia's All Ordinaries lost 0.7 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 2 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 declined 1.5 percent. Bucking the trend, China's Shanghai Composite Index added 0.5 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street. In the previous session, stocks showed a negative bias throughout much of the trading day, ending the session modestly lower. The S&P 500 edged down less than a tenth of a percent, while the Dow fell 0.4 percent and the Nasdaq slid 0.5 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for August delivery is falling $1.24 to $84.57 per barrel and August gold is falling $12 to $1563.7 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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