European Equity Benchmarks Close Lower; UK Forecast to Have Slowest Growth in G20

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The broad-based major European indices closed sharply lower in Tuesday's trading session, as insurance, automotive, and telecommunications stocks weighed down the markets.

In economic news, growth in the euro area is set to remain "robust and broad-based" at between 2% to 2.25% over the course of 2018 and 2019, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

"Accommodative monetary and fiscal policies, improving labor markets and high levels of business and consumer confidence are all helping to boost demand," said the OECD. "Investment is also becoming increasingly supportive, on the back of strong global demand and favorable financing conditions."

The OECD said growth is expected to remain strong in Germany, aided by additional fiscal easing projected in both 2018 and 2019, as well as in France, which will be helped by the impact of recent reforms. However, growth is forecast to be more moderate in Italy, and the UK economy is expected to grow at a slower pace than any other major advanced or emerging nation in 2018 at just 1.3%.

In France, net payroll job creation reached 72,700 in Q4 2017, which is an increase of 0.3% after an increase of 0.2% the previous quarter. Payroll employment increased by 82,300 in the private sector, while it decreased by 9,600 in the public sector due to a decline in the number of subsidized employment contracts. Compared to last year, it rose by 268,800 net jobs (1.1%) as 277,700 jobs were created in the private sector, while and 8,900 public service jobs were eliminated.

In Germany, the number of people who immigrated to the country exceeded the number who emigrated by roughly 500,000 in 2016, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). In 2015, the migration surplus had been 1.14 million. Destatis also reported that arrivals totaled 1,865,000 in 2016, with 1,365,000 departures across Germany's borders.

In equities, telecommunications giant BT Group, and wealth management firm St. James's Place helped weigh down the FTSE in London, falling 3.3% and 3.2% respectively. Communications company WPP closed down 3% and specialty chemicals company Johnson Matthey dropped 2.9%. Investment firm 3i Group, and defense, aerospace and security company BAE Systems each closed 2.7% lower. Meanwhile, insurance firm Legal & General Group, security company G4S, and insurance provider Direct Line each closed 2.5% lower.

In Frankfurt, media company Prosiebensat 1 Media led the DAX sharply lower, falling 5.1%, followed by industrial gases company Linde, and natural gas and electricity supplier RWE, which shed 3.0% and 2.9% respectively. Automobile manufacturer Volkswagen dropped 2.6%, while postal services provider Deutsche Poste, and chemical and consumer goods company Henkel each closed 2.4% lower.

In Paris, environmental management services provider Veolia Environnement, and semiconductor company STMicroelectronics helped push the CAC into negative territory, losing 2.8% and 2.7% respectively, followed by construction materials supplier LafargeHolcim, and automaker Peugeot, which fell 2% each. Oilfield services firm TechnipFMC, and telecommunications operator Orange each closed 1.6% lower.

The FTSE fell 1.05%, the DAX dropped 1.59%, and the CAC-40 lost 0.64%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks , ETFs
Referenced Symbols: DAX

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