By Steve Goldstein
European stocks traded lower on Thursday after three straight gains, as technology companies and miners declined.
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.90% traded 0.5% lower, with decliners including Dutch microchip equipment maker ASML /zigman2/quotes/206208657/delayed NL:ASML +1.23% and Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO +1.17% .
European stocks have fared better than U.S. and Asian equities as bond yields /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y 0.00% have surged. Over the last month, the Stoxx Value index /zigman2/quotes/210599620/delayed XX:STVP +1.04% has surged 7%, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.10% has dropped 5%.
“While one can understand why investors are concerned about valuations in the U.S., particularly around the tech sector which has driven a lot of the gains in the U.S. over the past few years, against a background of rising yields, the same can’t be said in Europe where valuations are much lower,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets U.K.
U.S. stock futures /zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed ES00 -0.10% edged lower ahead of an eagerly awaited address from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, which will occur shortly after European stock markets close at noon Eastern. The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.36% closed Wednesday with a 1.3% loss, and has slipped four of the last five sessions.
Of stocks in Europe on the move, ProSiebenSat.1 /zigman2/quotes/201815951/delayed XE:PSM +0.58% dropped 7% as the German broadcaster issued a cautious outlook, saying advertising revenue may drop as much as 2% in 2021 against expectations of a 6% advance.
U.K. insurer Aviva /zigman2/quotes/210517151/delayed UK:AV +1.13% rose 4% as the company continued its selling spree, reaching a deal to sell its remaining Italian assets to Allianz /zigman2/quotes/210095234/delayed XE:ALV +1.53% for €873 million as it also recorded a stronger-than-forecast operating profit.