The European markets are lower in afternoon trading Thursday, after a slew of unimpressive data cast doubts on global economic recovery, amid concerns about further monetary easing from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Asian markets ended in the red and the U.S. index futures indicate a weak open.
Germany's unemployment increased by 9,000 in August from July, the Federal Labor Agency said. The number of unemployed was forecast to rise by 7,000 after increasing 9,000 in July.
Eurozone economic sentiment weakened further in August due to strong loss in confidence among consumers, retailers and construction managers. The economic sentiment index dropped to 86.1 from 87.9 in July, below the consensus forecast of 87.5, European Commission said.
Italy's borrowing costs declined further at a debt auction and demand for the country's debt improved as investors hope that the European Central Bank would resume its bond-buying plan to help lower the yields for Italy and Spain.
Retail sales in Japan were down a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent in July, missing forecasts for a fall of 0.5 percent.
South Korean manufacturers' outlook on business conditions for September rose by 5 points to 75 in September, a survey from Bank of Korea showed. Nonetheless, a reading below 100 indicates pessimists outnumber optimists.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing 0.60 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 0.38 percent.
The German DAX is falling 0.81 percent and the French CAC 40 is sliding 0.45 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 is slipping 0.17 percent and Switzerland's SMI is dropping 0.36 percent.
In Frankfurt, automakers are on the decline. Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen are losing between 2.9 percent and 2 percent.
Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are nearly flat.
Metro is climbing 2.4 percent and RWE is gaining 0.8 percent.
In Paris, Renault is losing 2.7 percent and Peugeot is falling 2.6 percent.
Pernod-Ricard is losing 1.7 percent. The firm reported its best growth since 2007/08, and also announced some appointments, including that of Danièle Ricard as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
BNP Paribas and Societe Generale are declining around 1.1 percent each. Credit Agricole is up 0.2 percent.
Carrefour is surging 7.6 percent after first-half loss narrowed significantly.
Vivendi is gaining 2.9 percent. The media and telecom group reported a lower profit for the second quarter, but confirmed its full year view.
In London, miners are notably lower. Anglo American and Antofagasta are losing 1.7 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are falling 2.1 percent each.
Barclays is losing 1.3 percent. The lender named Antony Jenkins as group chief executive with immediate effect.
WPP is declining 2.9 percent after announcing first-half results.
Volvo is losing 1.6 percent in Stockholm. Societe Generale upgraded the stock to "Buy" from "Hold."
ING is climbing 3.8 percent in Amsterdam. Bank of Nova Scotia has agreed to acquire ING Bank of Canada from ING Group for C$3.13 billion in cash.
Across Asia/Pacific, Australia's All Ordinaries fell 0.94 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 1.2 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 declined around 1 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index edged down 0.03 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the major three averages rose about 0.1 percent each.
In the commodity space, crude for October delivery is falling $0.13 to $95.36 per barrel and December gold is losing $4 at $1659.0 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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