EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Drop The Most In About 9 Months As Trump Worries Rattle

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05/17/2017 | 03:57 pm


By Carla Mozee and Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch



Euro rises above $1.11 for first time in six months



European stocks moved sharply lower on Wednesday, with investors rattled by the latest political turmoil in the U.S. that is feared to put President Donald Trump's pro-growth agenda at risk.



Concerns grew after the New York Times reported that Trump in February asked then-director the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey to stop his investigation into links between Trump's associates and Russian officials .



The Stoxx Europe 600 index ) ended Wednesday 1.2% lower at 391.14, marking the biggest one-day percentage loss since Sept. 26, according to FactSet data.



In the U.S., stocks were also a sharply lower , with the Dow Jones Industrial Average on track for the worst day since September last year.



"Given that the 'Trump trade' is one of the main reasons the market has been able to break records of late, it is understandable that the scandal engulfing the U.S. government would be of some concern to investors," said Spreadex financial analyst Connor Campbell, in a note.



"That's because this crisis will likely prevent Trump from pushing through the very policies--like his huge infrastructure plans and generous tax cuts--that fueled much of the recent rally any time soon, undermining the basis for the current highs."



The euro rose to $1.1138, as the U.S. dollar lost ground against major rivals. The euro hasn't traded above $1.11 since around the time of the November U.S. presidential election.



Individual indexes: Germany's DAX 30 , which has notched record closing highs in recent sessions, ended down 1.4% at 12,631.61 for its biggest loss since early November last year.



France's CAC 40 declined 1.6% to 5,317.89.



In London, the FTSE 100 darted between small gains and losses for most of the session, but ended down 0.3% at 7,503.47. Italy's FTSE MIB dropped 2.3% to 21,283.72, and Spain's IBEX 35 moved down 1.8% to 10,786.10.



Stock movers: Banks posted some of the biggest losses in Wednesday's selloff. Shares of Deutsche Bank AG (>> Deutsche Bank AG) (>> Deutsche Bank AG) fell 3.5%, Banco Popular Espaņol SA (>> Banco Popular Espanol SA) gave up 4.2% and BNP Paribas SA (>> BNP Paribas) lost 3.1%.



Tullow Oil PLC (>> Tullow Oil plc) shares climbed 0.9% after the oil producer said it struck oil at a well in Kenya's South Lockihar Basin.



Thyssenkrupp AG shares (>> ThyssenKrupp AG) jumped 3.1% after Tata Steel Ltd. (500470.BY) moved closer to reaching a final agreement over changes to its U.K. pension liabilities. "As we view a solution on Tata's pensions as a key step in the process towards a possible deal with Thyssen, we believe this has been good news," wrote Deutsche Bank analyst Bastian Synagowitz.



British Land shares (>> British Land Company PLC) were pulled down 3.3% after the U.K. property developer posted a decline in the net value a share of its assets, pressured by falling residential, retail and office real-estate prices.



Ubisoft Entertainment SA (>> Ubisoft Entertainment) shares fell 3.6% although the maker of the coming "Far Cry 5" videogame posted a rise in full-year profit.





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