Lloyds, other banks decline in London
European equities markets were lower Thursday after both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England held interest rates steady and investors continued to worry about slow economic growth.
In London, the FTSE 100 was down 2.5 percent to 5,362.1 while the FTSE 250 dropped 2.34 percent to 9,150.
The banking sector saw declines as Lloyds TSB (LSE: LLOY) was down 5.68 percent, Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC; NYSE: BCS; TYO: 8642) was 6 percent lower, HBOS (LSE: HBOS) fell 6.84 percent and Bradford & Bingley (LSE: BB) dropped 7.6 percent, while miners, retailers and the real estate sector were all lower.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was down 2.59 percent to 1,151.30 while the Dax fell 2.91 percent to 6,279.57, the IBEX was 3.11 percent lower to 11,480.1 and the CAC-40 dropped 3.22 percent to 4,304.01.
Almost all equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were lower Thursday, while the Shanghai Composite defied trends but gained a bare 0.03 percent to 2,277.41.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was 1.04 percent lower to 12,557.66 while the Topix index was down 1.55 percent to 1,201.65 and the Mothers market of small and mid-caps dropped 4.13 percent to 430.26.
Elsewhere in the region, South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.03 percent to 1,426.43 even as shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (KRX: 097230) added 6.7 percent on a new contract worth $339 million.
The Hang Seng was down 0.95 percent to 20,389.48 while India’s Sensex fell 1 percent to 14,899.1.
In Australia, the Sydney Ordinaries dropped 1.55 percent to 5,050.9 and the S&P/ASX200 was 1.59 percent lower to 4,979.5 while Taiwan’s Taiex was down 2.62 percent to 6,412.63 and the Straits Times Index dropped 2.97 percent to 2,626.05.
Worries about economic growth hurt Wall Street in early afternoon trade, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.29 percent to 11,268.27, the Nasdaq Composite was 2.32 percent lower to 2,279.57 and the S&P 500 dropped 2.26 percent to 1,246.15.
Oil prices fell despite declines in US stockpiles, while most precious metals were lower and grains prices were mixed.
The euro weakened and the pound was stronger after the European Central Bank and the Bank of England both held interest rates steady.