By RTT News, October 23, 2013, 07:06:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The European markets fell across the board on Wednesday, with banks pacing the decliners after the European Central Bank said that it would submit the euro zone's top banks to a comprehensive batch of tests next year to rebuild confidence in the banking sector.
With U.S. growth worries lingering, investors await euro zone consumer confidence data due out later in the day for further direction to near-term market outlook.
The Asian markets erased early gains to end broadly lower, with talk of tighter money market conditions in China and a stronger yen on concerns about the tepid U.S. recovery weighing on sentiment.
Trading in the U.S. index futures point to a lower open, as investors turn their focus on another batch of earnings reports from companies such as Boeing, Caterpillar and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing a percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is down 0.8 percent. Around Europe, the key benchmark indexes in Germany, France and the U.K. are down between 0.5 percent and 1 percent.
European stocks hit a five-year high on Tuesday in a broad-based rally on speculation that weak jobs data will force the Federal Reserve to hold off any reduction in its stimulus efforts until at least early next year.
German banks Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are down about 3 percent each, French lender BNP Paribas is losing 2 percent and Barclays is declining 1.7 percent in London after the ECB said that it would begin risk assessment, asset quality review and stress test of euro area banks next month before assuming supervisory responsibility in November 2014. The banks will be demanded to maintain capital buffer of 8 percent.
HSBC Holdings Plc. is moving down 1.5 percent. HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of the bank, confirmed today that it has terminated the agreement for the sale of HBME's banking business in Pakistan to JS Bank as regulatory approval has not been received.
Home Retail Group Plc. is climbing 3.7 percent. The home and general merchandise retailer reported a sharp decline in first-half profit excluding certain items, but sales increased on improved performance by both its Argos and Homebase segments.
British American Tobacco Plc. is little changed after reporting a marginal 0.7 percent rise in its revenues for the nine-month period.
Heineken NV shares are tumbling 5.3 percent in Amsterdam after the Dutch brewer cut its-full year earnings forecast. Orange SA shares are plunging over 5 percent in Paris as the telecom major reported a decline in its restated EBITDA despite cost reductions efforts.
In economic news, industrial confidence in France increased in October, in line with economists' expectations, after weakening in the previous month, latest data showed. The headline industrial confidence index moved up to 98 points from 97 points in September, statistical office Insee said.
The Bank of England's October meeting minutes showed that the Committee's forward guidance remains in place and no policymaker thought it appropriate to tighten the stance of monetary policy at the current juncture. Indicating that there was currently little case for increasing the degree of monetary stimulus further, the board said it would continue to monitor early indicators of pricing behavior for signs of rising domestic inflationary pressure.
For comments and feedback: contact email@example.com