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European stock markets opened at seven-month lows, Reuters data showed, as investors digested perceptions of US and global sentiment jitters.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was 1% lower in afternoon trade, with most sectors in negative territory. Mining stocks were the biggest losers with a 2.4% decline, followed by travel and leisure, which fell 1.9%.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged recent signs of cooling inflation, but said on Thursday the central bank would remain “committed” to its 2% mandate. Powell did not set a specific policy path but gave no indication that further interest rate hikes were on the cards.
The central bank decided to keep interest rates steady at its last meeting in September, but suggested there could be one more hike before the end of the year.
Investors will also keep an eye on Friday’s summit between US and EU institutions, where leaders are due to discuss trade relations in Washington.
U.S. stock futures were lower on Friday morning as traders focused on a recent run in 10-year Treasury yields, while Asia-Pacific markets were all lower on Friday, extending losses from Thursday’s broader sell-off.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 1.16% on Thursday, its lowest finish since March 15, according to LSEG data.