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European stocks slide 2% after Fed minutes reveal talks on tapering

People walk past the U.S. Federal Reserve building in Washington D.C., the United States, May 21, 2020. U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday said the COVID-19-induced economic downturn has inflicted acute pain across the country, noting that the burden is not evenly spread.

Ting Shen | Xinhua via Getty Images

LONDON — European markets sank on Thursday morning as investors digested the latest Federal Reserve minutes.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 traded 2% lower in mid-morning deals, with all sectors in the red. Basic resources, household goods, and retail led the sectorial losses shortly after bourses opened in Europe.

The CAC 40 in France was down 2.8%, followed by the FTSE 100 in the U.K. which was off by 2.1%.

Looking at individual stocks, Gn Store Nord fell almost 10% after reporting its second-quarter results. Mining firms Anglo American and Antofagasta were also among the top losers in the mid-morning session.

The broad move lower came after shares in Asia-Pacific also fell, with Chinese tech stocks slipping again as regulatory fears continue to weigh on investor sentiment.

Fed minutes

Markets experienced a sell-off stateside on Wednesday following minutes from the last Fed meeting, which took place in July.

The central bank discussed starting to remove some of the monetary stimulus, likely before the end of the year as the U.S. economy gathers momentum. However, Fed officials reiterated that tapering would not necessarily mean an imminent rate increase.

Back in Europe, investors are also following the latest geopolitical events after the U.S. decision to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. On the data front, new jobless claims are due in the U.S.

Goldman’s latest acquisition

In the corporate world, Comcast and ViacomCBS announced a deal to launch a European streaming service, SkyShowtime, thus increasing competition with Netflix and others.

Separately, Goldman Sachs announced on Thursday that it will buy the asset management arm of Dutch insurer NN Group. The deal totals 1.7 billion euros ($1.98 billion) and represents the biggest acquisition since David Solomon took the reigns of the U.S. investment bank.

David Knibbe, CEO of NN Group told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” that he was pleased with the transaction.

“We believe [the deal] will broaden all the custom propositions that we offer to our customers,” he said.

“There will also be a European hub so that means there’s also a future for colleagues from NNIP, we will get more access to broaden distribution, so that can also help to build scale and obviously it is an attractive deal for shareholders with a 1.7 billion [euros] income when we close the deal.”

Disclosure: Comcast owns CNBC’s parent NBCUniversal and Sky.

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