European stocks falter amid hawkish Fed remarks and weak mining, utility sectors

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European stocks falter amid hawkish Fed remarks and weak mining, utility sectors
Credit: © Reuters.

European stocks remained under pressure today, echoing losses in Asian markets due to declining performances in the mining and utility sectors. The Europe Stoxx 600 Index dropped 0.49% to 443.41 following a sell-off on Asian indices, which led the MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex-Japan Index to its lowest point this year.

Notably, Frankfurt's Dax index dropped 0.57% to 15,160.46, and Paris' Cac 40 fell 0.49% to 7,033.33. Milan's FTSE MIB also experienced a decline of about 0.7%, settling at 27,664.31. In contrast, London's FTSE 100 outperformed its peers with a slight increase of 0.12%, reaching 7,519.44.

The downturn in European markets comes in the wake of hawkish remarks from top US central bank officials. At least three Federal Reserve officials spoke overnight, with Governor Michele Bowman and the head of the Cleveland Fed, Loretta Mester, advocating for another rate hike—more than one in Bowman's case.

In line with the stock market performance, commodity prices also pulled back, impacting mining stocks early on. Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO ), Glencore (OTC: GLNCY ), ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT ), and Sandvik all traded in the red due to recent dollar strength that has hit gold and copper prices, both currently trading at multi-month lows.

Simultaneously, defensive utility stocks were less favored as yields on government bonds continue to rise. National Grid (LON: NG ), United Utilities (OTC: UUGRY ) Engie, RWE and Verbund all experienced losses early in the day.

On a macroeconomic level, 10-year German Bund yields were ticking higher while euro and Brent futures were slightly off.

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