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European shares fall for sixth day as economic slowdown, rate concerns bite

Published 09/06/2023, 03:26 AM
Updated 09/06/2023, 12:21 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, September 4, 2023. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo
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By Sruthi Shankar and Shashwat Chauhan

(Reuters) -European stocks extended losses to a sixth consecutive session on Wednesday as worries about slowing global growth dented risk appetite, while rising bond yields also pressured equities.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed 0.6% down after hitting its lowest level in more than a week earlier in the day.

In further evidence of slowing economic growth, data showed German industrial orders fell more than expected in July, pulling back after a sharp gain in the aerospace sector the previous month.

"The market is focusing on the prospects of a continued weakening in the macro momentum within Europe and even the prospect of a mild recession in the coming quarters," said Thomas McGarrity, head of equities for RBC Wealth Management in the British Isles.

European banks were amongst the worst hit, sliding 1.5%, touching eight week lows.

The personal and household goods sector slumped 2.2%, while financial services eased 1.0%.

Italy's banks-heavy stocks index led losses amongst European bourses, down 1.5%.

The weak sentiment from August spilled into September on worries about how long major central banks will keep interest rates elevated amid fresh signs of weakness in Chinese and European economies.

China-exposed luxury heavyweight LVMH tanked 3.6%, hitting an eight-month low. The European luxury sector lost 3.0%.

Meanwhile, European Central Bank policymakers warned investors who are overwhelmingly betting against an ECB interest rate hike next week that the decision was still up in the air.

On the last day before the ECB's self-imposed quiet period, the Dutch, French, German and Slovak central bank chiefs all said the Governing Council's decision was still open.

Money market futures imply traders are pricing in only a 32% chance that the ECB will hike rates by 25 basis points at the central bank's September 14 meeting.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely seen holding rates in the 5.25-5.50% range later this month.

While oil prices pulled back following Tuesday's jump, government bond yields continued to rise, with the German 10-year yield surging to a two-week high at 2.65%. [GVD/EUR] [O/R]

Markets have sold off recently as a raft of surveys showed Germany's services sector contracted for the first time this year, and France's shrank more than estimated due to weak demand.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, September 4, 2023. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

WH Smith tumbled 6.3% after the British retailer said its annual revenue jumped 28% but fell short of a recently raised profit forecast.

InPost jumped 9.2% after the Polish company reported a higher quarterly core profit margin.

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