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European stocks turn mostly lower on Russia sanctions; Dax up 0.02%

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Shutterstock photo - - European stocks turned mostly lower on Thursday, after the European Union announced a fresh round of sanctions against Russia set to be implemented as soon as Friday.

During European afternoon trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.24%, France's CAC 40 slipped 0.25%, while Germany's DAX inched up 0.02%.

European equities came under pressure after EU representatives agreed to implement on Friday plans to bar some Russian state-owned defense and energy companies from raising capital in the euro zone, the officials said under condition of anonymity in Brussels.

The announcement came shortly after the U.S. said it was close to imposing the toughest round of energy sanctions so far on Moscow.

Sentiment had mildly improved earlier, as a new opinion poll on Scottish independence on Wednesday showed that support for the no campaign was back in the lead with 53% of voters.

Financial stocks were mixed, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) slipped 0.22% and Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) gained 0.61% in France, while Germany's Deutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) added 0.13%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) edged up 0.08% and 0.20% respectively, while Spanish banks BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) fell 0.10% and 0.85%.

Banco Santander announced earlier that Ana Patricia Botin was chosen to succeed her father Emilio Botin as chairman.

Elsewhere, Telecom Italia (MILAN:TLIT) rose 0.22% amid reports the company is considering creating a new unit to oversee its Latin American business.

In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 declined 0.38%, weighed by losses in the mining sector.

Shares in Bhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) dropped 0.48% and Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) tumbled 1.15%, while rivals Randgold Resources (LONDON:RRS) and Fresnillo (LONDON:FRES) plummeted 1.53% and 2.79% respectively.

In the financial sector, stocks were mixed. Barclays (LONDON:BARC) and HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) both lost 1.10%, while Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) jumped 1.02% and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) rallied 1.20%.

Meanwhile, Morrison Supermarkets (LONDON:MRW) erased earlier gains, as shares retreated 0.62% after the supermarket chain reported a 51% fall in underlying half year profits to £181 million, due to a big drop in sales.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow 30futures pointed to a 0.27% loss, S&P 500futures signaled a 0.28% decline, while the NASDAQ 100futures indicated a 0.19% fall.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to produce the weekly report on initial jobless claims. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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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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