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European Shares Drop on Fed Speculation

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 8/15/2013 2:09:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: AZN;GSK

European stocks fell in line with U.S. stocks after better-than-expected U.S. jobless claims data fueled speculation the Fed would start tapering bond purchases next month.

Weekly jobless claims fell to 320,000 from a revised 335,000 a week earlier. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg had called for a reading of 335,000.

Among other data, U.S. consumer prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2%, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. Excluding energy and food, the core consumer-price index also rose 0.2%. Results for the overall CPI and core reading matched the forecasts from economists polled by MarketWatch.

The New York Fed's "Empire State" general business conditions index fell to 8.2 in August from 9.5 in July. Economists had expected 9.5.

Industrial production was flat in July, and June's growth was revised lower, according to data released by the Federal Reserve. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected 0.2% growth for July, and June's growth was cut by a tenth of a percentage point to 0.2%. The 1.4% year-on-year growth rate was the slowest in more than three years. Capacity utilization fell to 77.6% from 77.8%.

Around the region, the Office for National Statistics said UK retail sales rose 1.1% on the month in July and rose 3% on the year. Economists had forecast sales to rise 0.7% on the month and 2.5% on the year.

In ADR news, GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK ) and AstraZeneca ( AZN ) were both downgraded to underweight from equal weight at Morgan Stanley.

The FTSE-100 was last down 1.58% at 6,483.34, the DAX down 0.73% at 8,376.29 and the CAC-40 down 0.51% at 4,093.20.