European Stocks Close Lower As Rate Hikes Jitters Weigh
European stocks closed sharply lower on Friday, weighed down by remarks from the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole symposium that the central bank's efforts to combat inflation will cause "some pain."
Powell reiterated the Fed's resolve to bring inflation back to its 2% target, declaring that the "economy does not work for anyone" without price stability. He added that the central bank would use its tools "forcefully" to bring demand and supply into better balance.
A Reuters report showing the ECB could discuss a 75 basis-point hike at its September meeting weighed as well.
The pan European Stoxx fell 1.68%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 drifted down 0.7%, Germany's DAX dropped 2.26% and France's CAC 40 tumbled 1.68%, while Switzerland's SMI declined 1.1%.
Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden ended sharply lower.
Greece, Norway and Portugal closed with modest losses, while Czech Republic, Russia and Turkiye ended higher.
The consumer confidence index rose to 82.0 in August from 80.0 in July, which was the lowest reading since June 2013. Meanwhile, economists had forecast the index to fall slightly to 79.0.
In the UK market, IHG, Ocado Group, IAG, Sainsbury (J), RS Group, Next, Rolls-Royce Holdings and Croda International lost 2.5 to 4.4%.
In Paris, Faurecia tumbled nearly 5%. Unibail Rodamco, Hermes International, Essilor, Renault, Michelin, LVMH, Dassault Systemes, Capgemini, Safran, STMicroElectronics and Credit Agricole lost 2 to 4%. Sanofi climbed 1.8%.
In the German market, HelloFresh, RWE and Continental fell 5 to 7.5%. Adidas, Vonovia, Symrise, Sartorius, SAP, Merck, Infineon Technologies, MTU Aero Engines, Fresenius Medical Care, BASF, HeidelbergCement, Deutsche Bank, Daimler, Siemens and Deutsche Wohnen shed 2 to 4.3%.
A survey showed Germany's consumer confidence declined further to a new record low in September.
Market research group GfK's forward-looking consumer sentiment index fell to -36.5 in September from -30.9 in August as households started to build reserves to meet future energy bills, thus dampening the propensity to buy. The reading was forecast to fall moderately to -31.8.
French consumer confidence improved unexpectedly in August, after weakening in the previous seven months, monthly survey results from the statistical office Insee showed on Friday.
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