European Shares Retreat Ahead Of ECB Meeting

european market 021219 08sep21 lt

European stocks succumbed to selling pressure on Wednesday amid worries about the slowing pace of a global economic recovery due to the rapid spread of the more infectious Delta variant everywhere.

Investors also looked ahead to Thursday's European Central Bank meeting that will see policymakers debate a cut in its stimulus.

Governing Council member and Austria's central bank chief Robert Holzmann told Eurofi Magazine that the ECB may normalize policy "sooner than most financial market experts expect."

The pan European Stoxx 600 was down nearly 1 percent at 468.34 after declining half a percent on Tuesday. The German DAX dropped 1.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 were down around 0.9 percent each.

Recruitment company Adecco Group AG declined 1.3 percent, a day after it announced the acquisition of QAPA.

B&M European Value Retail S.A. soared almost 6 percent. The variety store company said that group revenue to date has been broadly in line with market expectations.

Spanish turbine maker Siemens Gamesa slumped 6.6 percent after JPMorgan downgraded the stock's rating to "neutral". Danish peer Vestas tumbled 3.6 percent.

Swedish investment firm EQT lost 2.9 percent after a share placing deal.

French drug major Sanofi declined 1.8 percent. The company said it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to buy Kadmon Holdings, Inc. (KDMN), the developer of Rezurock, a recently FDA-approved treatment for chronic graft-versus-host disease.

Biffa lost almost 3 percent. The British waste management firm reported that its trading in the first half of the year has continued in line with the Board's revised expectations.

Avon Protection, a maker of life-critical respiratory and ballistic personal protection systems, climbed 2 percent on bagging a contract worth up to $87.6 million from the U.S. Army.

Airlines including EasyJet Plc and Ryanair Holdings jumped around 3 percent each after reports that the U.K.'s "traffic light" travel system could be scrapped from next month.

Smiths Group rallied 2 percent. The industrial technology company announced that it has agreed the sale of medical devices supplier Smiths Medical to ICU Medical, Inc. (ICUI) on terms that are superior to the previously announced transaction entered into with TA Associates.

In economic releases, France's trade deficit increased to EUR 6.96 billion from EUR 6.05 billion in June on falling exports, data published by customs office revealed. In the same period last year, the shortfall totaled EUR 6.79 billion.

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