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European stock markets track global decline

European stock markets

The pan-European Stoxx 600 dropped 0.8%, with banks shedding 1.6% to lead losses as almost all major bourses slid into negative territory

European markets pulled back on Friday, tracking U.S. and Asian counterparts as global stocks start the fourth quarter on the backfoot.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 dropped 0.8% in early trade, with banks shedding 1.6% to lead losses as almost all sectors and major bourses slid into negative territory. Utilities was one sector in the green, jumping 0.7%.

Shares in Asia-Pacific also suffered during Friday’s trade, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 shedding more than 2.5% to lead losses. Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong markets were closed for public holidays.

Global markets have been roiled by fears of persistent high inflation, slowing growth and rising rates.

All eyes will be on inflation figures due later in the day. Flash estimate of inflation for the euro zone is due today.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., core personal consumption expenditures price index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred policy-guiding metric, is expected to increase 0.2% in August and 3.5% annually.

Euro zone finance ministers will meet Monday to discuss the economic fallout from soaring energy prices, amid concern that they could impact the bloc’s recovery and disproportionately affect the poorest.

On the data front, German retail sales jumped 1.1% month-on-month in August, official figures revealed on Friday, slightly below a Reuters consensus forecast of 1.5%.

In corporate news, BMW lifted its annual profit forecast in an ad hoc statement on Thursday to between 9.5% and 10.5%, up from 7% to 9%. The German automaker said higher prices outweighed the effects of the global semiconductor shortage and other supply chain problems.

British pub chain JD Wetherspoon reported earnings on Friday morning, while Daimler and Credit Suisse both held extraordinary general meetings.

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