Concern on health of global economy pushes Europe lower
European stocks fell for the fourth time in five days amid renewed concern about the health of the global economy and speculation about central-bank policy. All industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid, pushing the benchmark gauge down 0.7 percent at 10:58 a.m. in London. Energy companies were among the worst performers as oil slipped toward $50 a barrel.
After the initial rebound that followed the aftermath of the U.K. secession vote, European stocks failed to push higher. Concerns about the global recovery, as well as speculation about European Central Bank and Federal Reserve policies, have dragged the Stoxx 600 down more than 3 percent from its September high. The ECB will give its latest update on Thursday, and most economists surveyed
Cyclical companies, such as commodity producers and banks, led the rise from the June low, through they’re now trading near their highest valuations in two years relative to defensive stocks. Firms JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are saying the rally is unwarranted given the risks to global growth. Analysts see profit at Stoxx 600 miners, energy companies and lenders falling more than 17 percent this year.
The decline in energy producers pushed the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index down 0.8 percent. Pearson Plc tumbled 9.9 percent after the world’s largest education company reported a sales drop.
Among other stocks moving on corporate news, Banca Popolare di Milano Scarl fell 4.6 percent, the most in Italy’s FTSE MIB Index, while Banco Popolare SC was little changed after their shareholders approved a merger of the two companies. Financial firms UniCredit SpA and Assicurazioni Generali SpA gained more than 1.8 percent.
Asian stocks outside Japan declined toward the lowest level in a month as casino operators tumbled after China detained employees of Australia’s Crown Resorts Ltd. Japanese shares advanced as the yen weakened. The MSCI Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Index fell 0.7 percent to 443.29 as of 4:15 p.m. in Hong Kong.