European markets pressed down by banks, car sector, ex-dividend day

Thursday, 07. April 2016 18:10

European stock markets saw a rough day on Thursday, with investors looking at the banking sector to find clues as to what would the latest comments from the European Central Bank mean for banks' profits. The ECB Governing Council minutes from the latest meeting revealed that the EU's central bank will be cautious in any further interest rate cut, while claiming the previous cut was mainly beneficial for the banks.

That said, no wonder the Italian FTSE MIB index finished sharply lower, 2.54% to close at 16,799 points. Banks were badly hurt: BCA MPS plunged 8.09%, Banco Popolare fell 7.55%, UBI Banca down 6.27%, Unicredit lost 5.92%, and others followed. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles dropped 3.93%. ST Microelectronics rose 4.31%, and Poste Italiane added 0.47%.

The German DAX index fell 0.98% to close at 9,530 points. Lufthansa AG and ProSiebenSat.1 NA were among few advancers, rising 0.84% each, and RWE AG added 0.54%. Automotive companies were losing: Daimler AG fell 4.77% on ex-dividend day, BMW 1.53% and Continental AG 1.28%. Deutsche Bank AG, down 2.97% and Commerzbank AG, down 2.55%, were prominent decliners in the banking sector. Industrial sector: ThyssenKrupp fell 2.67%, Siemens AG dropped 1.95%.

In Paris, the CAC 40 lost 0.90% to close at 4,245 points. Banks fell here, too: BNP Paribas by 3.84%, Société Générale by 3.74%, Crédit Agricole by 2.56%. Peugeot lost 2.53%, and Renault dropped 2.34%. Airbus Group SE rose 0.50% after Alcoa (+0.58%) said it would supply the aerospace group with 3D printed titanium fuselage and engine pylon components.

Across La Manche, the FTSE 100 slid 0.40% to close at 6,136 points. Glencore fell 5.71%, Berkeley Group lost 4.95% and Pearson Plc dropped 4.95% on ex-dividend day. Randgold Resources rose 3.22%, Marks & Spencer Group Plc added 3.00%, and Sainsbury climbed up 2.68%.

In Zurich, the Swiss Market Index rolled down 0.09% to close at 7,761 points. Unsurprisingly, a number of banks and financial companies were nested on the losing side: Zurich Insurance by 1.61%, Julius Baer by 1.50%, UBS Group by 1.03%. Consumer group Richemont lost 3.20%, and Swatch Group slid 1.26%.

Meanwhile in Iceland, the OMX Iceland climbed up 1.27%, and the Athex Composite inched up 0.07%.

The oil prices were falling during the trading day: Brent traded at $38.73 a barrel, while WTI was at $36.90 a barrel at the stock market close.

The euro lost 0.19% to the Swiss franc, and 0.11% against the U.S. dollar, and breaking down 1.72% against the super-strong Japanese yen, but added 0.20% versus the U.K. pound by 6:08 p.m. CET.

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Breaking the News / ZR