German stocks fell on Thursday, as investors digested mixed earnings reports and news of Italy's sovereign rating downgrade by independent rating agency Egan-Jones. Investors eagerly look forward to U.S. jobless claims and durable goods orders data for new hints on additional monetary easing.
The benchmark German DAX is down about 65 points or a percent at 6,342, while key benchmark indexes in France and Switzerland are posting modest gains. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 is down 0.2 percent.
The euro fell against the dollar after an early upmove on caution ahead of a speech by ECB president Mario Draghi in London.
Volkswagen is tumbling 3.1 percent after the auto giant reported slowing earnings growth. Rival Daimler is also down over 3 percent as data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association showed that new commercial vehicle sales in Europe decreased for the fifth consecutive month in June. Registrations of new commercial vehicles fell 5.8 percent year-over-year to 157,232 units in June, marking the fifth successive decrease in sales.
Shares of Puma AG are climbing 4 percent after the footwear, apparel and accessories company reported a 11.8 percent rise in second-quarter consolidated sales in euro terms.
BASF is declining 2.5 percent on saying that it doesn't expect an upturn in demand in the second half than the first half. Pressure on margins will continue, although somewhat lessened, due to slightly lower raw material costs, the company said.
Shares of Siemens are tumbling 5 percent. The industrial conglomerate said the deteriorating environment has made it more difficult to achieve its full year earnings guidance, as its industrial short-cycle businesses continued to suffer from customer reluctance to spend. The company also had scrapped its initial public offering plan for the lighting unit Osram.
In economic releases, German consumer confidence is set to rise modestly in August despite the growing tensions surrounding the eurozone's economic prospects, a key survey revealed. Market research group GfK said its consumer confidence index for August rose to 5.9 from 5.8 in July.
Elsewhere, Asian markets turned in a mixed performance, with bargain hunting at lower levels helping limit any significant downside. The Dow futures point to a lower start on Wall Street as investors await more earnings reports for directional cues.
by RTT Staff Writer
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