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Dec. 20, 2018, 3:00 p.m. EST

Stoxx Europe 600 ends at 2-year low amid global risk-off selloff

DAX extends romp into bear-market territory

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By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch , Emily Horton


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European stocks tumbled Thursday, carving out a fresh 52-week low, one day after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for a fourth time this year, exacerbating a risk-off downturn.

How are the markets performing?

The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.83%  ended 1.5% lower at 336.58, after finishing up 0.3% on Wednesday. The decline represented the lowest close for the pan-European gauge since Nov. 8 2016, according to Dow Jones Market Data. It is down by about 16% since its most recent high on Jan. 23.

The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +0.79%  fell 1.4% to finish at 10,611.10. The index is now down 22% from its 52-week high, and has been trading in bear-market territory for the last several sessions. A bear market is usually defined as a drop of at least 20% from a recent peak.

France’s CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +0.90%  closed 1.8% lower at 4,692.46. The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.02%  logged the lightest losses, ending 0.8% lower at 6,711.93.

European currencies were stronger on Thursday, helped by a weak U.S. dollar. The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD +0.0370% rose to $1.1482, compared with $1.1379 in New York late on Wednesday, while the British pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.0077% climbed to $1.2686 from $1.2662. The Swedish krona /zigman2/quotes/210561879/realtime/sampled USDSEK -0.0419%  was one of the best performers of the day, rallying after Sweden’s Riksbank raised interest rates.

What is driving markets?

European stocks felt the pain of a global shift to a risk-off sentiment on Thursday, which also saw Asian and U.S. equity markets register losses. This came on the coattails of Wednesday’s Federal Reserve policy update in which the central bank raised interest rates but downgraded its forecast for future increases from three to two. U.S. stocks, which had rallied in the run-up to the decision, sold off sharply and stayed lower on Thursday.

Europe, which closed before that Fed decision was announced, followed up on Thursday with losses of its own.

In local central bank news, Sweden’s Riksbank raised interest rates for the first time in seven years, though the benchmark repo rate remained in negative territory.

Elsewhere, the Bank of England on Thursday voted unanimously to keep lending rates on hold, citing concerns over global growth and Brexit risks. Data showed retail sales rose in November in the U.K., with a big lift coming from Black Friday online shopping.

What stocks are active?

Bank stocks underperformed, including Deutsche Bank /zigman2/quotes/203042512/composite DB -0.37%   /zigman2/quotes/205584254/delayed DE:DBK -0.30%   /zigman2/quotes/207242873/delayed XE:DBK -0.69% , which closed more than 7% lower. Credit Suisse /zigman2/quotes/202835784/composite CS +0.81%   /zigman2/quotes/205269278/delayed CH:CSGN +0.93%  ended 3.8% down and Credit Agricole /zigman2/quotes/209264506/delayed FR:ACA -0.11%  fell 4%.

Read: Major banks suspected of collusion in EU bond rigging probe

Airline stocks were in focus after London Gatwick Airport shut down late Wednesday, amid reports that two drones were flying above the airfield led to a formal investigation. Ryanair Holdings PLC /zigman2/quotes/205429530/delayed IE:RY4C +0.55%  slid 2.6% /zigman2/quotes/205496028/delayed DE:LHA +1.05%  all fell by 2%. Cruise line company Carnival PLC /zigman2/quotes/210414141/delayed UK:CCL +1.07%  lost 5%.

/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
433.90
+3.57 +0.83%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 19, 2020 5:50p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed
DAX
DX : Xetra Indices
13,789.00
+107.81 +0.79%
Volume: 90,192
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
6,111.24
+54.42 +0.90%
Volume: 80,156
Feb. 19, 2020 6:05p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
7,457.02
+75.01 +1.02%
Volume: 0.00
Feb. 19, 2020 4:59p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.0810
+0.0004 +0.0370%
Volume: 0.0000
Feb. 19, 2020 6:29p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.2920
+0.0001 +0.0077%
Volume: 0.0000
Feb. 19, 2020 6:29p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561879/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
9.7819
-0.0041 -0.0419%
Volume: 0.0000
Feb. 19, 2020 6:29p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203042512/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 10.67
-0.04 -0.37%
Volume: 7.63M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.15%
Market Cap
$22.12 billion
Rev. per Employee
$493,032
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205584254/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
9.88
-0.03 -0.30%
Volume: 186,794
Feb. 19, 2020 8:58p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
€417,912
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207242873/delayed
XE : Germany: Xetra
9.91
-0.07 -0.69%
Volume: 19.75M
Feb. 19, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
€20.62 billion
Rev. per Employee
€417,912
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202835784/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 13.76
+0.11 +0.81%
Volume: 2.20M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:10p
P/E Ratio
10.34
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$33.25 billion
Rev. per Employee
$743,916
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205269278/delayed
CH : Switzerland: SWX
CHF 13.57
+0.13 +0.93%
Volume: 9.67M
Feb. 19, 2020 5:31p
P/E Ratio
10.26
Dividend Yield
2.05%
Market Cap
CHF32.74 billion
Rev. per Employee
CHF728,043
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/zigman2/quotes/209264506/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
13.34
-0.02 -0.11%
Volume: 5.42M
Feb. 19, 2020 5:35p
P/E Ratio
10.26
Dividend Yield
5.25%
Market Cap
€36.70 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205429530/delayed
IE : Ireland: Dublin
15.43
+0.09 +0.55%
Volume: 1.24M
Feb. 19, 2020 4:30p
P/E Ratio
16.65
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
€16.84 billion
Rev. per Employee
€530,769
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205496028/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
15.44
+0.16 +1.05%
Volume: 28,906
Feb. 19, 2020 8:58p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
€264,465
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210414141/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
3,116.00 p
+33.00 +1.07%
Volume: 813,959
Feb. 19, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
9.07
Dividend Yield
4.94%
Market Cap
£21.08 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Follow her on Twitter @bkollmeyer.

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