European stocks lower on U.S. debt ceiling worries; Dax down 0.06%

Shutterstock photo - European stocks were lower on Thursday, as concerns over the U.S. debt ceiling overshadowed recent news of a highly anticipated U.S. budget deal.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 dropped 0.36%, France's CAC 40 retreated 0.35%, while Germany's DAX 30 0.06%.

Market sentiment strengthened on Wednesday after U.S. lawmakers passed a compromise bill to avoid the fiscal cliff, blocking a series of looming tax increases and spending cuts that could have pushed the U.S. economy back into a recession.

However, investors remained jittery over the longer term outlook, with negotiations on raising the U.S. debt ceiling still to come in February.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as shares in French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale dropped 0.81% and 0.84%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank both fell 0.20%.

Peripheral lenders added to losses as Italy's Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo slipped 0.01% and 0.36%, while Spanish banks BBVA and Banco Santander tumbled 1.10% and 0.95%.

On the upside, Alcatel-Lucent jumped 1.70% after Credit Suisse Group raised its recommendation on the stock.

In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 dipped 0.01%, weighed by losses in oil and mining stocks.

Vedanta Resources tumbled 1.23%, while mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton dropped 1.12% and 0.93% respectively.

Copper producers Xstrata and Kazakhmys were also on the downside, with shares retreating 0.64% and 0.97%, while oil and gas major Anglo American declined 0.59%.

Meanwhile, financial stocks were mixed. The Royal Bank of Scotland dipped 0.01% and HSBC Holdings slid 0.46%, while Lloyds Banking and Barclays added 0.10% and 0.89%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a mixed to lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.12% fall, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.20% loss, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.02% gain.

Also Thursday, Spain's Employment Ministry said the number of unemployed people fell by a seasonally adjusted 59,100 in December, defying expectations for an increase of 50,300.

The number of unemployed people in Spain rose by an unrevised 74,300 in November.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release a report on ADP nonfarm payrolls, as well as its weekly government report on initial jobless claims. In addition, the Federal Reserve was to publish the minutes of its most recent policy-setting meeting. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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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.

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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