- Banks log worst day in over a year
- ECB seen raising key rate by 25 bps Thursday
- Inditex and H&M slide following results
- Bollore tops STOXX 600 on simplified cash tender offer
- UK budget: Hunt pledges reforms to spur slow economy
March 15 (Reuters) – European shares on Wednesday had their worst day in over a year as a selloff in bank stocks resumed on renewed investor concerns about stresses within the sector, with Credit Suisse plunging to a fresh record low.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index (.STOXX) closed the day 3% lower, a day after recording its best day this year.
The banks sector index (.SX7P) plunged 7.1% to log its steepest one-day drop in over a year.
Efforts by regulators and financial executives to assuage contagion fears following tech-focused lender Silicon Valley Bank’s sudden collapse have failed to calm investors’ nerves.
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“It always feels like they’re (Credit Suisse) just teetering on the precipice … why European banks are utterly clobbered this afternoon,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG Group.
Due to the Credit Suisse stock rout deepening worries over the European banking sector’s health, traders now increasingly see the European Central Bank increasing interest rates by 25 basis points on Thursday, down from the 50 bps hike expected prior to the SVB collapse.
“It’s too early for them to stop entirely, but it would be probably a bit foolhardy to go for 50 basis points tomorrow,” Beauchamp added.
TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) fell 5.6% after some 42% of operators at its French refineries and depots continued their strike for an eighth day over the government’s planned changes to its pension system.
Meanwhile, Bollore (BOLL.PA) jumped 8.3%, topping the STOXX 600 index, following the entertainment production firm’s simplified cash tender offer.
Elsewhere, Britain’s finance minister Jeremy Hunt announced a plan that he hopes will speed up the world’s sixth-biggest economy, that has been stagnating, and avoid a recession this year – even if it is still set to contract.
However, London’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE) closed 3.8% lower.
Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal, Amruta Khandekar and Ankika Biswas in Bengaluru; Editing by Eileen Soreng, Savio D’Souza and Emelia Sithole-Matarise
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