European stocks mixed amid sustained growth worries; Dax down 0.24%

Shutterstock photo - European stocks were mixed on Thursday, as markets were jittery amid ongoing concerns over upcoming U.S. debt ceiling negotiations, while global growth worries also weighed.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 eased up 0.02%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.26%, while Germany's DAX 30 slipped 0.24%.

Uncertainty over the U.S. debt ceiling deadlock continued to weigh after President Barack Obama urged Republicans earlier in the week to approve an increase in the borrowing limit without seeking policy concessions in return.

Market sentiment was also hit after the World Bank cut on Tuesday its forecast for global growth to 2.4% this year from 3% in June and warned that developing nations would struggle in 2013.

Stocks found some support however, after European Central Bank governing council member Ewald Nowotny said that the situation in the euro zone had stabilized and indicated that the bank was not concerned over the euro's recent gains.

Financial stocks were broadly higher, as shares in French lenders Societe Generale and BNP Paribas climbed 0.43% and 1.03%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank inched up 0.03%.

Peripheral lenders added to gains, with Spanish banks BBVA and Banco Santander adding 0.13% and 0.16%, while Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit advancing 0.34% and 0.52% respectively.

Elsewhere, French retailer Carrefour surged 6.11% after reporting a 0.8% increase in fourth-quarter sales, thanks to growth in Latin America, and saying business continued to improve in France.

On the downside, ASML tumbled 3.15% after the Dutch company said it expects full-year net sales at a similar level to 2012, which compares with estimates for a 10% increase. The group also said it sees a slow start for the first-quarter this year.

In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 inched down 0.05%, weighed by losses in mining stocks.

Mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto trended lower, plummeting 0.96% and 3.40%, as did copper producers Xstrata and Kazakhmys, down 1.47% and 0.39% respectively.

Meanwhile, financial stocks were broadly higer. Shares in Lloyds Banking inched up 0.06% and Barclays rose 0.31%, while HSBC Holdings and the Royal Bank of Scotland advanced 0.40% and 0.66%.

Also on the upside, Associated British Foods rallied 4.37% after saying first-quarter revenue increased 10%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.04% dip, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.01% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.01% loss.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to produce official data on building permits and housing starts, in addition to the weekly government report on initial jobless claims and data on manufacturing activity in Philadelphia. - 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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