European stocks slid Thursday, as investors played catch up to heavy selling on Wall Street sparked by surging consumer price inflation. U.S. stock futures indicated more selling was ahead.
Tracking losses across Asia and the U.S., the Stoxx Europe 600 index
slid 1.5% to 431.32, after a 0.3% gain on Wednesday. The German DAX
fell 2%, the French CAC 40 index
was down 1.8% and the FTSE 100 index
was off 2.2%. Markets in Sweden and Switzerland were among those closed for the Ascension Day holiday. The pound
was flat against the dollar, while the euro
was slightly higher.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
and S&P 500 futures
were down 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively, with Nasdaq-100 futures
off 0.4%. Wednesday marked the third-straight day of losses for major U.S. indices, with the Dow industrials
skidding 681.50 points to 33587, and the S&P 500
and Nasdaq Composite
dropping 2% and 2.6%, respectively.
Investors got spooked by a report showing U.S. inflation in the year to April climbed at its fastest pace in roughly 13 years, sparking fears of an overheating economy. More data is ahead for Thursday, with producer prices for April and weekly jobless claims.
“You may get dull periods but this year is going to be a big battle between the bullishness of mass reopening/stimulus on one hand and the inflationary consequences on the other. Expect regular pockets of vol [volatility],” said a team of Deutsche Bank strategists led by Jim Reid, in a note to clients.
Rising energy prices were a contributor to that U.S. inflation spike, though crude was down on Thursday, with crude
and Brent futures
both off around 2% a day after marking their best settlements since March. Shares of major energy companies Total
were all down more than 2% each.
prices topped $3 a gallon Wednesday for the first time in more than six years, as a cyberattack on a major U.S. fuel artery — Colonial Pipeline — continued to cause fuel shortages at gas stations across the Southeast.
Mining stocks fell in step with weak iron ore prices. Shares of Rio Tinto
Elsewhere, shares of Telefonica
climbed over 3%. The Spanish telecoms group posted a profit rise, though revenue dipped and said it expects to meet 2021 guidance.
Shares of Burberry
slumped 7% for the Stoxx 600’s worst performer. The luxury retailer said operating profit more than doubled in fiscal 2021, well ahead of market views, with sales lifted by China and the U.S.
“A weak wider market and some elements of profit taking have made for an ugly start for the shares in response to the results. While this update will reassure bulls of the stock, given the recent strength of the price performance, the shares are seen as being up with events for now, with the market consensus coming in at a hold,” said Richard J Hunter, head of markets at interactive investor.