The European markets are moderate to notably 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 0.94 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 1.22 percent.
The German DAX is falling 1.17 percent and the French CAC 40 is losing 0.72 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 is declining 1.26 percent and Switzerland's SMI is dropping 0.64 percent.
In Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank is falling 2 percent and Commerzbank is dropping 1.2 percent.
Deutsche Boerse is declining 1.6 percent. UBS removed the stock from 'Most Preferred List.'
Symrise is losing 0.3 percent. HSBC cut the stock to 'Underweight' from 'Neutral.'
Metro is climbing 1.7 percent. Suedzucker is climbing 1.5 percent after reporting higher first-quarter profit.
In Paris, 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.
In London, miners are lower, ahead of the Chinese growth data. Anglo American and Antofagasta are declining 2.1 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. Rio Tinto is losing 3.3 percent.
Ashmore is declining 7.1 percent. The company said assets under management for the June quarter were down 3.3 percent.
Associated British Foods reported an 11 percent increase in revenues for the 40 weeks ended June 23 and said it remains on track to deliver substantial growth in adjusted operating profit and earnings per share for the full year. The stock is modestly down.
Aegis Group's shares are up nearly 46 percent after the advertising holding company agreed to be bought out by Japanese advertising firm Dentsu Inc. for 3.16 billion pounds in cash.
Fashion retailer SuperGroup reported a 32 percent growth in revenue despite operational challenges. The stock is climbing over 16 percent.
Akzo Nobel is gaining 1.2 percent in Amsterdam. The stock was raised to "Overweight" from "Neutral" at HSBC. Philips is climbing 1.4 percent on a positive recommendation from Merrill Lynch.
Banco Bilbao is falling 2.2 percent in Madrid after Credit Suisse cut the stock to "Neutral" from "Outperform."
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 $1.01 to $84.80 per barrel and August gold is falling $11.5 to $1564.2 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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