European stocks slid yesterday in anxious trade before Spain announced the cost of bailing out its banks and amid a slew of data that suggested a slowdown in the global economy.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index closed down 0.99% at 5,566.36 points.
In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 dropped 0.77% to 6,343.13 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 slid 0.39% to 3,114.22 points.
Madrid’s IBEX 35 index gave up 0.33% while Milan bucked the trend to edge 0.14% higher amid renewed talk about having the EU rescue funds buy government bonds.
In foreign exchange deals, the euro fell to $1.2582 from $1.2702 late on Wednesday in New York.
The dollar rose to its highest level against the yen for a month, climbing to ¥80.33 before pulling back to ¥80.20, still up from ¥79.56 late on Wednesday in New York.
“Financial markets are under pressure again, with clients reducing appetite for risk—preferring traditional safe havens like core government bonds versus equities and riskier currencies like the euro,” said Ishaq Siddiqi, a market strategist at ETX Capital trading group in London.
After European markets closed, Spain’s central bank said that new stress tests showed the country’s banks need between 16 and 62bn euros in extra capital to stabilise them in the financial crisis.
The deputy governor of the Bank of Spain Fernando Restoy announced the estimates, the result of tests by the US audit firm Oliver Wyman and German firm Roland Berger, at a news conference.
The result was in line with market expectations of a capital shortfall of €60bn-€70bn.
Ahead of the announcement, Spain showed it could still tap the bond market at a pivotal time by easily raising €2.22bn in a mixture of two-, three and five-year bonds. But it had to pay soaring rates to lure investors.
Meanwhile, eurozone private sector activity sank to the lowest level for three years in the second quarter, suggesting gross domestic product is likely to have fallen by 0.6%, a key survey showed.
The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) compiled by business research firm Markit was stuck at 46 points in June, the same level as May, indicating another month of contraction in activity.
On Wednesday, the US central bank disappointed investors when it said that it would extend its operation of lengthening the maturities of US government bonds it holds instead of launching a third round of monetary stimulus—or quantitative easing.
The Fed, after a two-day meeting, also predicted US growth would be even worse than thought this year, forecasting 2012 growth of between 1.9 and 2.4%—a half point cut from predictions made as recently as April.
Meanwhile new claims for unemployment benefits in the US were nearly flat at 387,000 last week, showing little change from recent poor data.
US stocks were down in midday trading, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sliding 0.74% to 12,823.10 points.
The broader S&P 500 dropping 0.98% to 1,342.37 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index shedding 1.25% to 2,893.77 points.from gulf times.