European stocks decline on Fed’s policy update

European stocks faced declines on Thursday, influenced by rising government bond yields following the US Federal Reserve’s revised interest rate outlook. The STOXX 600, a broad measure of European equities, dropped 0.5 per cent by 0828 GMT after a 1 per cent gain in the previous session.

On Wednesday, the Fed announced it would keep rates steady and scaled back its projected rate cuts to one quarter-point adjustment, possibly in December, down from the previously anticipated three cuts by March. Consequently, bond yields across the eurozone climbed, with Germany’s 10-year bund yield reaching 2.556 per cent.

Investor sentiment was further subdued by political uncertainties in France, dampening appetite for European stocks and widening yield spreads. Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior market analyst at Swissquote Bank, noted that these factors were contributing to the downturn in European equities.

Additionally, MSCI’s decision on Wednesday not to include the European Union’s debt in its government bond indexes added to the market’s subdued mood. Most sectors traded lower, with real estate down 0.6 per cent and auto stocks leading the decline with a 2 per cent loss. Stellantis, listed in Milan, fell 2.6 per cent despite maintaining its 2024 financial forecasts.

In specific stock movements, Wise plummeted 16.1 per cent on the STOXX 600 after projecting slower growth in underlying income for the year compared to the previous period. Lufthansa shares slid 5.2 per cent following a negative catalyst watch from J.P. Morgan.

Conversely, BT saw a 2.4 per cent increase after Carlos Slim, a Mexican magnate, acquired a 3.16 per cent stake in the UK’s largest broadband and mobile operator.

Attribution: Reuters.

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