Malta Independent

European stocks lower


European stocks were trading lower late-morning on Friday as investors worries about the health of Italy’s banks and as a reading of inflation came in line with expectatio­ns, with investors finding few reasons to buy going into the weekend, particular­ly after an extended period of weakness.

Major European indexes are poised for weekly losses, with some gauges set for their third straight down week. U.K. stocks are on track for their worst week in months.

The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.3% to 380.47, after it rose 0.5% on Thursday. For the week, the pan-European index is down 1.4% and on track for its third straight negative week. The recent losses, which include the gauge’s biggest one-day fall since June 25 on Wednesday, have come on concerns over Turkey’s currency crisis, as well as weak commodity prices. Germany’s DAX 30 was trading 0.4% lower, after finishing up 0.6% in the previous session.

France’s CAC 40 fell 0.2% at 5,337.25, following Thursday’s rise of 0.8%. It is down 1.4% on the week, its first three-week decline since June. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 was off 0.1% at 7,546.01, after snapping a 5-session skid on Thursday with a 0.8% gain. The FTSE is down 1.6% thus far this week, its biggest weekly decline since March. On Thursday, the index rose and put end to its longest streak of daily declines since February.

Meanwhile, Italy’s FTSE MIB Index was trading 1% lower at 20,311.33, with the Italian benchmark poised for a weekly decline of 3.7%, which would be its worst weekly fall since the period ended May 25.

Recent trading has been driven by the currency crisis in Turkey, as well as uncertaint­y regarding trade policy with respect to the U.S. and its major trading partners. Both issues will likely continue to dictate market sentiment, and while there were few developmen­ts in either issue overnight, they have recently shown some signs of stability.

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