Markets

European Equities Extend Losses to Close Lower after Pace of Expansion in UK Construction Slows

European equities extended Monday's losses to close lower on Tuesday after UK construction output posted its weakest pace of expansion for nine months in January while the euro area registered a modest decline in the proportion of people out of work.

The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index posted a reading of 55.0 in January, down from 57.8 in December, signalling the slowest rate of expansion since April 2015. Aside from the pre-election slowdown recorded last year, the latest reading was the lowest since June 2013.

In other macro-economic news, Germany registered a modest increase in its rate of employment with roughly 43.3 million people employed in December 2015, according to provisional calculations of the Federal Statistical Office, Destatis. Compared with the same month a year earlier, this marked a 1.0%, or 441,000, increase.

And, in the euro area, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 10.4% in December 2015, down from 10.5% in November 2015, and from 11.4% in December 2014. This is the lowest rate of unemployment recorded in the euro area since September 2011.

In equities, oil and gas major BP led decliners on FTSE 100 Index and dropped over 7% followed by insurer Prudential, lower 8.2%, Anglo American, a commodities company, was down 8% and mining major BHP Billiton fell 7.4%.

On the DAX, steelmaker ThyssenKrupp contracted by 6.0%, followed by semiconductor solutions provider Infineon Technologies, 5.8% lower, potash and magnesium producer K+S fell 5.3% and Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank were 4.7% and 3.9% lower, respectively.

And, on the CAC-40, financial services companies Societe Generale, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole were 7.4%, 5.7% and 5.0% lower, respectively. Steel maker ArcelorMittal fell 5.4% and automotive supplier Valeo was down 5.0%.

The FTSE 100 closed 2.28% lower, the DAX edged down by 1.81% and the CAC-40 was 2.47% lower.

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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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