European Stocks Extend Losses as US Tax Uncertainty Rattles Investors

European equity benchmarks were extending losses on Friday as uncertainty over whether a US tax bill will be passed into law before Christmas unnerved investors on both sides of the pond.

A version of the 'Tax Cuts and Jobs Act', which was passed by the Senate earlier this month, is due to be presented to lawmakers later on Friday with a final vote expected early next week. The earlier version passed by the Senate reduced the US corporate tax rate from a maximum of 35% to a flat 20% rate among numerous changes to the existing tax system. However on Thursday, comments from several senators indicated that the bill could face some resistance unless further amendments were included in it. Marco Rubio, the Republican Senator of Florida, indicated that he would vote against the bill unless it included a greater expansion of the child tax credit.

In economic news, Germany noted a slight increase in the number of people employed in its manufacturing sector, with employment in the industry rising by 2.1% in October year-on-year, according to data published by Destatis, Germany's Federal Statistics Agency.

In equities, Mediclinic International, a private hospital group, was leading the decliners on London's FTSE 100 Index, down by 1.9% followed by equipment rental company Ashtead Group, high street bank Barclays and Next, a retailer of apparel, all 1.4% lower.

On Frankfurt's DAX, Deutsche Post, a logistics and postal delivery company, and BASF, a chemical company, were both 0.4% lower while Merck, a chemical and pharmaceutical company, and Deutsche Bank were both 0.3% lower.

And, on Paris' CAC-40, oilfield services company TechnipFMC was 1.5% lower, STMicroelectronics, a manufacturer of semiconductors, was and Carrefour, a hypermarket operator, were both 1.3% lower. Consulting firm Cap Gemini was 1.1% lower.

Oil futures prices were mixed with West Texas Intermediate crude oil up by 0.3% at $57.23 per barrel while Brent crude, the international gauge, was down by 0.1% at $63.22 per barrel.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 Index was 0.17% lower, London's FTSE 100 Index was down by 0.02%, Frankfurt's DAX was 0.27% lower and Paris' CAC-40 was down by 0.12% at the time of writing.

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

Copyright (C) 2016 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

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

More Related Articles

Info icon

This data feed is not available at this time.

Sign up for Smart Investing to get the latest news, strategies and tips to help you invest smarter.