The European markets are mostly lower in afternoon trading Wednesday, as investors continued to exercise caution with diminishing hopes of stimulus measures. Mining stocks were particularly hit amid concerns of growth in China.
Minutes of the Bank of England's meeting held on August 1 and 2 showed that policymakers unanimously decided to retain quantitative easing at 375 billion pounds and the interest rate unchanged at 0.50 percent.
The number of Britons claiming jobless benefits unexpectedly declined in July, latest data from the Office for National Statistics revealed. The claimant count declined by 5,900 persons monthly to 1.59 million in July. Economists had expected the figure to climb by 6,000.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing 0.28 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 0.21 percent.
The German DAX is losing 0.36 percent and the French CAC 40 is falling 0.24 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 is sliding 0.35 percent while Switzerland's SMI is gaining 0.26 percent.
In Frankfurt, ThyssenKrupp is falling 2.3 percent, leading the decliners. HeidelbergCement is falling 1.1 percent.
Insurers Allianz and MunichRe are dropping around 1.1 percent each.
Air Berlin, which reported a wider loss for the second quarter, is losing 1.1 percent.
Carl Zeiss Meditec was cut to "Add" from "Buy." The stock is moderately lower.
Deutsche Telekom is falling 0.5 percent. UBS removed the stock from 'Most Preferred List.'
K+S is gaining 1.2 percent and E.ON is rising 1.1 percent.
In Paris, Lafarge is losing 1.5 percent and Vallourec is falling 1.4 percent. ArcelorMittal is declining 2.2 percent.
Renault is losing 0.9 percent while Peugeot is flat.
Veolia Environnement is gaining 1.4 percent. GDF Suez is moderately higher.
Credit Agricole is advancing 0.8 percent. Societe Generale is flat while BNP Paribas is falling 0.2 percent.
Anglo American and Antofagasta are falling around 1 percent each. BHP Billiton is losing 2 percent and Rio Tinto is retreating 3 percent.
Eurasian Natural Resources is declining 7.2 percent after first-half profit plunged on weak prices.
Steel maker Evraz is dropping 4.7 percent.
CRH is losing 3.1 percent. UBS added the stock to 'Least Preferred List' in European building materials.
Imperial Tobacco is falling 1.9 percent following a new branding rule in Australia.
Standard Chartered is gaining 4.9 percent after the lender agreed to settle the money-laundering probe with the New York regulator by paying $340 million.
Balfour Beatty is up 1.8 percent after announcing first-half results.
Insurer Resolution is gaining 4.7 percent.
Holcim is flat in Zurich after reporting higher quarterly profit.
Carlsberg is gaining 2.6 percent in Copenhagen. The firm reported a significant increase in second-quarter profit, benefited by a special gain and higher beer volumes with the successful EURO 2012.
Nokia is surging over 7 percent in Helsinki on news about the new Windows phone.
Across Asia/Pacific, major markets fell as hopes of more stimulus measures waned. Australia's All Ordinaries fell 0.2 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index retreated 1.1 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1.2 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 edged down 0.05 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street, ahead of some key data. In the previous session, the major averages ended the session mixed for the fourth time in the past five sessions. While the Dow crept up 0.02 percent, the Nasdaq fell 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 edged down 0.01 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for September delivery is falling $0.31 to $93.12 per barrel and December gold is falling $5.9 to $1596.5 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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