European stock markets traded sharply lower Thursday, amid concerns of the U.S. Federal Reserve tapering its bond-buying program this year, even as the world economy loses momentum.
At 4 AM ET (0800 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 1.5% lower, the CAC 40in France fell 2.3% and the U.K. ‘s FTSE 100 dropped 1.8%.
A slump in commodity prices led mining and oil firms to trade sharply lower, with mining firm Anglo American stock down 10% – although over half of that was due to it going ex-dividend, Rio Tinto stock, Antofagasta stock and BP stock all down over 4%.
European markets received a weak handover from Wall Street, with dOW jONES iNDUSTRIAL aVERAGEand the S&P 500 falling over 1%, after the minutes of the July Federal Reserve meeting showed that most policymakers believe it could be appropriate for the central bank to start reducing bond purchases this year.
Concerns are growing that the reining in of the Fed’s pandemic-era stimulus measures could occur just as the global economic recovery is showing signs of stalling, as countries take measures to combat the spread of the delta variant of the Covid-19 virus.
The travel and leisure index also slumped amid a surge in cases of the delta variant of the coronavirus. IAG , the owner of British Airways, stock fell 2.2% and holiday company Tui stock fell 1.8%.
AstraZeneca stock fell 1% after the chief executive of the drug maker, Pascal Soriot, was named Britain’s highest paid company boss in 2020, despite criticism of his handling of the pandemic response. The company was the only one of the major drugmakers to agree to sell its Covid-19 vaccine at cost price, but poor communications during the drug’s development, manufacturing bottlenecks and a slightly lower efficacy than some rival vaccines have caused the company significant reputational damage.
The FTSE MIB climbed down by 2.24% to 25,767.30. In the cash markets, the DAX Germany was trading down 1.93% to 15,658.65. CAC 40 in France fell by 2.85 % to 6,578.22 while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. were down by 2.22% to 6,577.35. ,at the time of writing.