European stock markets slumped on Thursday, tracking sharp losses in Asia and the U.S., after the World Bank cut its 2013 global growth estimate.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index slid 1.4% to 286.74, on track for a fourth straight day of losses.
Shares of Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC tanked 7.1% after the bank said late Wednesday that Chief Executive Stephen Hester will step down at the end of the year.
Other banks were also lower, with shares of Banco Popular Español SA off 2.6%, Deutsche Bank AG 2.3% lower and Société Générale SA down 1.9%.
The sharp losses unfolded on the back of weak trading sessions in the U.S. and Asia, where stocks sank on continuing concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve will soon withdraw its massive liquidity injections. The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its longest losing streak for the year on Wednesday. And overnight in Asia, Japanese stocks plunged 6.4%, as a rally in the yen trashed exporters.
Additionally, the World Bank cut its economic-growth forecast to 2.2% expansion in 2013, down from a 2.4% projection issued in January and below last year’s estimate of 2.3% growth.
Later in the day attention turns to retail-sales data and jobless-claims figures from the U.S. Data from the world’s largest economy have been in the spotlight after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in May said the central bank could start tapering its bond purchases in coming months if data continue to improve. The policy-setting committee meets next week, but is widely expected to keep its easing program on hold.
U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street.
Back in Europe, Germany’s DAX 30 index slipped below the 8,000 level for the first time since early May, dropping 1.8% to 7,998.96.
France’s CAC 40 index lost 1% to 3,754.17, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index gave up 1% to 6,235.03.
Source : Marketwatch