Investing.com - European stocks pushed lower on Wednesday, after weak euro zone industrial production data, while market sentiment remained under pressure amid concerns over an economic slowdown in China, as well as worries over ongoing turmoil in Ukraine.
During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 dropped 0.99%, France’s CAC 40 plummeted 1.30%, while Germany’s DAX 30 tumbled 1.28%.
Official data showed that industrial production in the euro zone declined by 0.2% in January, disappointing expectations for a gain of 0.5%. Industrial production in December was revised to a 0.4% drop, from a previously reported fall of 0.7%.
Meanwhile, investors remained cautious amid worries over the outlook for China’s economy after data over the weekend showed that exports dropped 18.1% in February and inflation slowed.
Markets were also eyeing the standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine. Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was to travel to the U.S. to meet President Barack Obama on Wednesday, as diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis continued.
On Tuesday, European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio said markets had missed some parts of its message on forward guidance last week.
He also said the ECB still had policy options available, including lower interest rates or quantitative easing, if necessary.
Financial stocks pushed broadly lower, as French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale plummeted 2.43% and 2.44%, while Germany''s Deutsche Bank lost 1.74%.
Among peripheral lenders, Intesa Sanpaolo slipped 0.22%, while Spanish banks BBVA and Banco Santander tumbled 1.12% and 1.47% respectively.
Elsewhere, Tod’s SpA reported worse-than-forecast results, sending shares down 4.79%.
On the upside, Adecco SA surged 5.05% after reporting full-year earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates.
In London, as commodity-heavy FTSE 100 retreated 0.99%, led by G4S Plc, down 4.20%, after the company reported lower-than-forecast quarterly results.
Mining stocks also remained on the downside, as shares in Rio Tinto declined 0.59% and Glencore Xstrata lost 2.16%, while rivals BHP Billiton and Vedanta Resources plummeted 1.38% and 1.56% respectively.
Meanwhile, U.K. lenders continued to track their European counterparts broadly lower. Lloyds Banking tumbled 1.12% and Barclays dropped 1.46%, while HSBC Holdings retreated 1.45% and the Royal Bank of Scotland plunged 2.19%.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.17% slip, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.18% loss, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.25% fall.