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EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Veer Toward Worst Week Since August

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11/10/2017 | 11:55am CET

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch

European stocks fell Friday, heading toward their deepest weekly drop in nearly three months, with a rough week for the markets rounding off with a disappointing outlook from Cartier parent Richemont SA and lingering concerns about tax-cut legislation in the U.S.

What markets are doing: The Stoxx Europe 600 shed 0.4% at 388.64. No sector moved higher, with the industrial and consumer goods groups losing the most. On Thursday, the index dropped 1.1%, the biggest one-day percentage loss since June 29, according to FactSet data.

The index was headed toward a weekly fall of 1.9%, which FactSet data show would be the worst week since mid-August.

Germany's DAX 30 index fell 0.3% to 13,142.16, and France's CAC 40 gave up 0.4% at 5,385.53.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gave up 0.2% to 7,466.47 and Spain's IBEX 35 fell 0.5% to 10,992.90.

The euro traded at $1.1656, up from $1.1643 late Thursday in New York.

What's moving markets: A busy week of corporate updates spread into Friday. Investors appeared disappointed with an outlook from Richemont SA, whose high-end brands include Cartier and Montblanc. Investors in rival luxury company Burberry Group PLC continued to selloff its shares after they were mauled Thursday.

Meanwhile, concerns about a possible delay in tax cuts in the U.S. lingered. Those worries contributed to losses in Asian equities on Friday, following a selloff in the U.S. on Thursday .

The prospect of lower taxes and other stimulus put forward by the Trump administration has bolstered equity markets over the past year.

The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday released its version of a tax plan that would defer implementing a cut in corporate tax to 20% until 2019, diverging from the House Republicans' plan to introduce that rate next year. But worries abated somewhat after the Republicans' bill was moved to a vote in the House , possibly next week.

What strategists are saying: "An early bounce in stocks has fizzled out this morning, confirming that risk-off sentiment remains dominant. The twists and turns in Congress regarding the administration's tax plan are hard to follow, but the overall impression is that we won't get much progress on reform before the Thanksgiving recess begins. For a market that had invested great hope in the plan, this is a heavy blow," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, in a note.

Stock movers: Richemont (>> Compagnie Financière Richemont) slumped 3.6% after a downbeat outlook from the Swiss luxury goods company.

"While we cannot predict the environment for the full year, it is clear that the full-year results on a comparative basis will not see the exceptional level of growth reported in the period under review," said Richemont's Chairman Johann Rupert. Richemont's first-half profit did jump 80%, aided by strong growth across all of its divisions.

Altice NV shares (>> Altice) swung lower to trade down 3.4%. The French telecoms group outlined a management shake-up that includes the resignation of Chief Executive Michel Combes. The moves come following disappointing third-quarter results that led to a plunge in Altice's share price.

ArcelorMittal MT (>> ArcelorMittal SA)(>> ArcelorMittal SA) climbed 2.8%, with the Netherlands-listed steelmaker's third-quarter net profit nearly doubling to $1.21 billion and outstripping expectations. Chief Executive Lakshmi Mittal said he saw a positive outlook for 2018 but warned of global overcapacity in the sector.

Boskalis Westminster NV fell 4% after the dredging and maritime services company reiterated it expects second-half net profit to be comparable to its first-half profit of 75 million euro ($87.3 million), excluding some restructuring charges to be taken in the second half.

Burberry (>> Burberry Group) (>> Burberry Group) fell 4.1%, with UBS downgrading its shares to neutral from buy. The stock on Thursday tumbled 10% after the British luxury goods retailer warned it doesn't expect sales growth until fiscal 2021 .

Economic data: France's industrial output rose 0.6%, slightly more than anticipated in September as pharmaceutical production jumped, the Insee statistics agency said.

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