European stocks plunge after the continent reports its biggest ever GDP drop

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European stocks plunge after the continent reports its biggest ever GDP drop
Reuters
  • European stocks moved lower on Monday after eurozone GDP fell by 3.6%, it's worst fall since 1995, when comparable records began.
  • Germany's DAX dropped almost 2%, while the Europe-wide Eurostoxx 50 slid 1.7%.
  • US futures also fell, with the S&P 500 looking set to lose 1% at the open, and fall back into negative territory for the year.

Global stocks painted a mixed picture on Wednesday, with European stocks pushing down due to gloomy Eurozone GDP results, and stocks in the US looking likely to follow suit at the open.

GDP in the euro area contracted by 3.6% compared to the previous quarter. This represented the euro area's worst GDP performance since 1995. The drop is the worst in recorded history, as comparable records only started in 1995.

In the EU as a whole, including non-Euro countries, GDP fell 3.2% in the quarter.

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All major European exchanges turned red on Tuesday on the news, with Germany's DAX down around 2% as of 7.30 a.m. ET.

European stocks had been largely supported by a $676 billion boost to Europe's Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme, bringing the coronavirus rescue package to a total of $1.53 billion.

Neil Wilson chief market analyst at Markets.com also pointed out stocks are looking to the Fed's meeting that will start later on Monday for direction.

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"Equity markets in Europe were lower again with investors looking ahead to the Federal Reserve two-day meeting, which starts today."

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The slump in European equities came despite a 15 billion euro ($19 billion) package by France to help prop up its aerospace industry. Airbus, one of the world's two largest planemakers, has its main office in France.

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Here's the market roundup as of 12.35 p.m. in London (7.35 a.m. ET):

Wilson added: "European markets still seem a bit unsure whether they should follow the US with another leg higher or show some more restraint given the economic uncertainty – and the fact Europe just doesn't have the same amount of big tech – the S&P 500 technology sector is up 11% YTD, in line with the Nasdaq 100."

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Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade, said: "The Dow Jones futures are trading modestly lower as investors take some profit off the table after a massive stock market rally. The rally is very much based on the optimism around the re-opening of the global economy. More and more countries ease their coronavirus restriction."

On Monday, the S&P 500 wiped out its year-to-date losses in the final minutes of trading as investors pile bets on a quick economic recovery.

The oil market saw profit-taking overnight as Saudi energy minister said on Monday the kingdom, UAE and Kuwait would no longer continue with voluntary additional production cuts of around 1.18 million barrels per day.

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Halley said: "The extra cuts had been voluntary anyway and were not expected to have continued. But with such a large amount of speculative long position in the market, it sparked some profit-taking selling."

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