European stock markets opened sharply lower on Thursday, after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said late the prior day the central bank may scale back its bond purchases this year, depending on the economic outlook. The Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 1.4% to 288.35, on track for a third straight day of losses.
Mining firms posted some of the biggest losses in the pan-European index after data showed factory activity slowed further in China in June. Shares of BHP Billiton PLC dropped 3.2% and Anglo American PLC lost 2.3%. U.K. banks also posted losses after the Bank of England identified several banks with capital shortfalls. Shares of Barclays PLC gave up 1.6% and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC fell 0.8%. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index traded 1.2% lower at 6,275.80.
Germany’s DAX 30 index dropped 1.7% to 8,062.42, while France’s CAC 40 index shaved off 1.5% to 3,780.73.
Source : Marketwatch