Investing.com - European stocks opened lower on Thursday, as
markets were jittery amid sustained uncertainty over whether the
Federal Reserve will soon begin tapering its stimulus program and
as U.S. budget concerns weighed.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 dipped 0.03%,
France's CAC 40 fell 0.20%, while Germany's DAX 30 slipped 0.12%.
Investors were eyeing the final reading of U.S. second quarter
gross domestic product due later in the day, after a recent string
of economic reports underlined concerns over the outlook for the
U.S. economic recovery.
Stronger-than-expected GDP data would likely fuel speculation that
the Fed could announce a stimulus reduction before the year end.
Last week, the Fed said it wanted to see more evidence of a
sustained economic recovery before it reduced stimulus.
Separately, U.S. budget concerns weighed as Republican leaders in
the U.S. House of Representatives notified members that a vote on
raison the debt limit could come as early as Friday.
Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders BNP Paribas
and Societe Generale slid 0.64% and 0.25%, while Germany's Deutsche
Bank tumbled 1.06%.
Among peripheral lenders, Spanish banks Banco Santander and BBVA
fell 0.18% and 0.36% respectively, while Italy's Unicredit and
Intesa Sanpaolo retreated 0.68% and 1.08%.
Among earnings, Hennes & Mauritz soared 6.82% after the
clothing retailer reported quarterly profit that topped estimates
for the first time this fiscal year, supported by the opening of
its online store in the U.S. and new brands.
In London, FTSE 100 eased 0.02%, weighed by losses in the insurance
Shares in RSA Insurance and Old Mutual plummeted 1.81% and 1.85%
respectively after Lloyd's of London, the world's oldest insurance
market, reported a 9.8% drop in first-half profit as investment
On the upside, mining giants Anglo American and BHP Billiton gained
0.03% and 0.35%, while rival company Evraz jumped 1.73%.
In the financial sector, stocks were mixed. The Royal Bank of
Scotland added 0.23% and Lloyds Banking climbed 0.43%, while HSBC
Holdings and Barclays lost 0.33% and 0.81% respectively.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.25% gain, S&P 500
futures signaled a 0.32% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures
indicated a 0.51% climb.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release the weekly report on
initial jobless claims, as well as final data on second quarter
growth and private sector data on pending home sales.
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