The European markets are in negative territory in afternoon trading Thursday, as disappointing data hurt investor optimism. The Asian markets fell across the board and the U.S. index futures indicate a weak start.
Activity in Eurozone's manufacturing sector decreased at a slower pace in September, data released by Markit Economics showed. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index, or PMI, for the manufacturing sector rose to a six-month high of 46 in September from 45.1 in August, but remained below the no-change 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.
In Germany, the seasonally adjusted PMI for manufacturing rose to 47.3 in September from 44.7 in August.
The French private sector shrank at the fastest pace since April 2009 driven by a marked decline in incoming new business, survey data from Markit Economics showed. The flash composite output index fell to 44.1 in September from 48 in August.
U.K. retail sales, including auto fuel, fell 0.2 percent month-on-month in August, data from the Office for National Statistics showed. Economists had forecast a 0.3 percent drop.
In China, flash results of a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC revealed that the PMI rose to 47.8 in September from 47.6 in August. The manufacturing output index, meanwhile, dropped to a 10-month low of 47 in September from 48.2 in August.
Japanese all industry activity fell 0.6 percent month-on-month in July, reflecting declines in construction and industrial output, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. The rate of decrease slightly exceeded the 0.5 percent fall forecast by economists.
European Central Bank Governing Council member Erkki Liikanen said in an interview to newspaper Demokraatti that shareholders of banks must be ready to take on more risk in banking operations without burdening the government and the tax payers.
It is the task of the shareholders and investors to ensure that the banks operate in such a way as to avoid losses, Liikanen, who heads the Bank of Finland, said.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing 0.91 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 0.38 percent.
The German DAX is declining 0.46 percent and the French CAC 40 is falling 0.79 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 is dropping 0.60 percent and Switzerland's SMI is losing 0.22 percent.
In Frankfurt, Commerzbank is falling 2 percent and Deutsche Bank is losing 0.8 percent. Deutsche Bank confirmed that it reached agreement to sell private bank unit BHF-BANK to Kleinwort Benson Group, a unit of Belgium-based financial services group RHJ International, for 384 million euros.
BMW and Daimler are notably lower. Volkswagen is down 0.2 percent. Daimler has said that it sees increasingly difficult market conditions in Europe.
E.ON and RWE are dropping 1.6 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.
Hawesko Holding is losing 1.5 percent. Berenberg started the stock with a "Hold" rating.
Bucking the trend, department store operator Metro is advancing 1.7 percent and airline Lufthansa is climbing 1.5 percent.
Sky Deutschland is climbing 1.8 percent after Barclays initiated the stock with an "Overweight" rating.
Sartorius is gaining 2.8 percent. Berenberg initiated the stock with a "Buy" rating.
In Paris, Total is declining 2.1 percent, thus topping the losers, amid falling oil prices.
BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole are declining between 2 percent and 1.3 percent. Insurer Axa is losing 1.4 percent.
Renault is dropping around 2 percent. Peugeot is gaining 1.5 percent after it announced exclusive negotiations to sell 75 percent interest in its Gefco trucking unit to JSC Russian Railways for 800 million euros. The sale is aimed at reducing debt.
EADS is up 1.4 percent and hotel group Accor is adding 1.1 percent.
Miners are notably lower in London. Rio Tinto, Eurasian Natural Resources, Antofagasta, Kazakhmys and BHP Billiton are declining between 2.6 percent and 3 percent. Russian steel maker Evraz is losing 3.8 percent.
Barclays is losing 1.5 percent and Royal Bank of Scotland is dropping 0.8 percent.
Imperial Tobacco is adding 1.2 percent. The company expects to report about 4 percent rise in fiscal 2012 tobacco net revenues at constant currency.
ITV is climbing 2.8 percent and International Consolidated Airlines is gaining 1.9 percent.
Telenet is surging 12.4 percent in Brussels. Cable firm Liberty Global, Inc. said it plans to launch a voluntary and conditional cash offer for all Telenet Group Holding shares and other securities, thus giving access to voting rights that it does not already own or that are not held by Telenet.
Across Asia/Pacific, Australia's All Ordinaries fell 0.5 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index retreated 2.1 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.20 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 declined 1.6 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a lower open. In the previous session, the major averages gave back ground going into the close but managed to end the day posting slim gains. The Dow and the S&P 500 inched up 0.1 percent each, while the Nasdaq crept up 0.2 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for November delivery is losing $0.83 to $91.47 per barrel and December gold is falling $10.5 to $1761.2 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org