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European stocks remain lower in risk-off trade; Dax down 1.63%

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Shutterstock photo - European stocks remained lower on Wednesday, as global growth concerns continued to weigh after the International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecasts, although positive U.S. data lent some support.

During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 tumbled 1.33%, France's CAC 40 plummeted 1.59%, while Germany's DAX 30 plunged 1.63%.

On Tuesday, the IMF cut its 2013 forecast for global growth to 3.3%, down from its January projection of 3.5%. It also trimmed its 2014 forecast to 4.0% from 4.1%.

Sentiment remained mildly supported however, after data showed that U.S. industrial production and housing starts rose at a faster-than-forecast pace in March, easing concerns that the U.S. economic recovery is losing traction.

Financial stocks remained broadly lower, as shares in French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale tumled 1.77% and 1.72%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank plummeted 1.92% and 1.19% respectively.

Among peripheral lenders, Spanish banks BBVA and Banco Santander retreated 0.59% and 1.53%, while Italy's Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo trended higher, up 0.23% and 0.73%.

Elsewhere, ASML soared 8.45%, extending earlier gains, after the semiconductor-equipment supplier posted first-quarter sales of EUR892 million, beating market expectations.

The company also announced a share buyback program of as much as EUR1 billion and said Chief Executive Officer Eric Meurice will step down as of July.

In London, commodty-heavy FTSE 100 retreated 0.64%, weighed by losses in mining stocks, while the minutes of the BoE's April meeting showed that policymakers remained split over monetary policy.

Mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto plummeted 1.97% and 1.99% respectively, while copper producers Xstrata and Kazakhmys tumbled 2% and 3.15%.

Oil and gas giant Anglo American also remained on the downside, declining 1.56%, as well as rival company BP, down 0.77%.

Meanwhile, U.K. lenders were mixed. Shares in Lloyds Banking and the Royal Bank of Scotland added 0.21% and 0.48%, while HSBC Holdings and Barclays lost 0.69% and 0.76%.

Among earnings, Burberry surged 4.34% after the luxury-goods producer reported fourth-quarter revenue of GBP503 million, beating analysts' projections.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.25% loss, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.33% decline, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.27% fall. - 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.

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