Member access

4-Traders Homepage  >  News

News

Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesHot NewsMost Read NewsRecomm.Business LeadersVideosCalendar 

EUROPE MARKETS: Europe Stocks Fall On FOMC Minutes, PMIs

02/21/2013 | 10:17am US/Eastern

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- European stocks saw steep losses on Thursday, as euro-zone data disappointed a day after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest meeting illustrated a split over the central bank's monetary-easing program.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index dropped 1.2% to 285.58, with banks and mining firms posting some of the biggest losses.

"We have quite a few triggers for nervousness coming through today. You had a rise in the markets for a while and people were becoming more and more nervous and looking for the first crack, " said Justin Urquhart Stewart, co-founder of Seven Investment Management.

"Nothing fundamentally has changed. On the longer term, the economy is still healing, but markets were getting ahead of themselves and waiting for economic data to back it up. We had a wave of everyone thinking the glass was half full, but now that perception has changed," he said.

Shares of heavyweight miner BHP Billiton PLC (>> BHP Billiton Limited) shaved off 3.3%, after Citigroup cut the firm to neutral from buy, saying that positive catalysts such as capital-expenditure cuts and cost reductions are now priced in.

Shares of AXA SA gave up 3.1%, as the insurance firm reported a drop in 2012 profit.

Investors further trained their attention on the U.S., where minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's January meeting released late Wednesday showed some members expressed concerns about the bank's $85 billion monthly asset purchases. Several members said the central bank should prepare to vary the pace of the quantitative-easing plan depending on the outlook. .

Meanwhile on Thursday, jobless claims data fleshed out that 20,000 more americans applied for unemployment benefits last week to a seasonally adjusted 362,000. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch forecast claims to rise to 351,000 from a revised 342,000 in the prior week.

U.S. stocks extended Wednesday's steep losses and moved lower.

"We can expect markets to be a little bit more volatile from here. People will be nervous until they get clarification on the U.S. deficit, the Italian election, growth signals from Germany and if the U.K. will lose its triple-A credit rating," Urquhart Stewart said.

Italian stocks plummeted ahead of general elections this weekend, with markets worried a new government would end the country's current reformist drive. The FTSE MIB index slid 2.6% to 16,094.84, with shares of UniCredit SpA down 4%.

Elsewhere in Europe, preliminary readings of purchasing managers' indexes from the major economies stole the limelight. The preliminary composite purchasing-managers' index, or PMI, for the euro zone slumped to a two-month low of 47.3 in February, indicating the region's downturn steepened. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a February reading of 48.5. .

The manufacturing PMI for Germany rose to 50.1, a 12-month high, while the same reading for France climbed to 43.6, marking a 2-month high. The French reading, however, missed expectations. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Germany's DAX 30 index sank 1.8% to 7,591.08, with Deutsche Bank AG (>> Deutsche Bank AG (USA)) down 3.7% and Commerzbank AG off 2.9%.

In France, Société Générale SA dropped 4.1%. The CAC 40 index erased 1.9% to 3,641.23.

U.K.'s FTSE 100 index lost 1.6% to 6,292.00. Shares of HSBC Holdings PLC (>> HSBC Holdings plc) fell 1.9%.

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

React to this article
Latest news
Date Title
<1m ago MINISTRY OF ECONOMICS AND TECHNOLOGY OF FEDERA : The economic situation in Germany in November 2014
<1m ago U S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE : PAGE Entrepreneurs in Their Own Words – Daphne Koller
<1m ago U S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE : Secretary Pritzker Celebrates Female Entrepreneurs during Women’s Entrepreneurship Day
<1m ago FEDEX : How (Almost) Everything is Growing in Poland
<1m ago U S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE : Declaracion de la Secretaria de Comercio de Los Estados Unidos Penny Pritzker en Torno a las Acciones Ejecutivas Sobre Inmigracion
<1m ago BBA AVIATION : 21 Nov 2014 – Transaction in Own Shares
<1m ago CHRISTIE+ : completes sale of De Vere golf resorts
<1m ago E W SCRIPPS : Scripps investigation uncovers flawed system for tracking convicted military sex offenders
<1m ago AMREST SE : RB 111/2014 Purchase of shares for the purposes related to the exercise of stock options plan
<1m ago CIT : Aerospace Delivers One Boeing 737-900ER To Lion Group
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
SNOOZEBOX : Providing Temporary Hotel For Premier Oil
MOL GLOBAL : ATTENTION MOL GLOBAL SHAREHOLDERS: Shareholder Rights Law Firm Johnson & Weaver, LLP Announces Investigation of MOL Global, Inc.
TCP CAPITAL : Announces Pricing Of Public Offering Of Common Shares
FAIRFX : Taps John Pearson To Replace Co-Founder As Chairman (ALLISS)
FULLER SMITH & TURNER : Pub operator Fuller's first-half profit rises 8 pct
Most Read News
1d ago MORGAN STANLEY : Oil Price Plunge Tells Morgan Stanley OPEC Action Is More Likely
1d ago DTE ENERGY : announces expansion in Bluestone system
11h ago HONDA MOTOR : Japan's transport ministry tells Takata to investigate air bag issue
1d ago Under Senate glare, Goldman rejects commodity manipulation
1d ago Takata executive warns about ability to fix deadly air bag flaw
Most recommended articles
1m agoDJGlobal Markets Rally on China, Draghi
4m ago RBS admits to data error in European stress test
4m ago EU and ECB urge Ireland to continue austerity
5m ago RBS admits to data error in European stress test
8m agoDJMexican Finance Ministry Cuts 2014 Economic Growth Forecast
Dynamic quotes  
ON
| OFF