LONDON: Stock markets mostly fell Thursday, as the US Federal Reserve chief’s upbeat assessment of the economy failed to allay concerns about a global trade war, analysts said.
The dollar rose across the board, with the pound slumping under $1.30 for the first time in 10 months as weak UK retail sales data dented the chances of an interest rate hike from the Bank of England in August, experts added.
“A drop in retail sales… has sent the pound sharply lower, continuing the general trend of the week,” noted Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG trading group.
In Paris, shares in advertising group Publicis slumped 6.8 percent to 54.32 euros after the French firm said sales tumbled in the second quarter.
However Iliad, the parent company of mobile operator Free, jumped 8.5 percent to 145.85 euros after the company said it signed up one million clients since launching service in Italy at the end of May.
Across the Atlantic, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday expressed optimism over the US economy.
But during a second day of congressional testimony, he warned that the spiralling global trade row was having a negative impact on companies in the US.
“We hear from our extensive network of business contacts a rising chorus of concerns,” he said.
London – FTSE 100: FLAT at 7,677.79 points
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.4 percent at 12,714.03
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.5 percent at 5,419.80
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,475.51
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.1 percent at 22,764.68 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.4 percent at 28,010.86 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.5 percent at 2,772.55 (close)
New York – Dow: UP 0.3 percent at 25,199.29 (close)
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2996 from $1.3069 at 2030 GMT
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1604 from $1.1639
Dollar/yen: UP at 112.97 yen from 112.86 yen
Oil – Brent Crude: DOWN 96 cents at $71.94 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 87 cents at $67.89 per barrel.