February 9, 2018 / 8:41 AM / a year ago

European share declines limited after another Wall Street sell-off

LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - European shares posted limited losses at the open on Friday after a fresh sell-off on Wall Street, which has now entered a correction with the benchmark S&P 500 and Dow industrials falling more than 10 percent from their Jan. 26 record highs.

Europe’s STOXX 600 share index fell 0.4 percent by 0823 GMT with all European bourses and sectors trading in negative territory. The Stoxx had already fallen 1.6 percent on Thursday, with declines accelerating towards the end of the trading day.

“It would appear that the brief respite for stocks seen in the middle of the week turned out to be the eye of the storm as once again rising bond yields prompted a further bout of selling across the board, not only in the U.S. last night but in Asia again this morning”, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

Utilities stocks, which are expected to suffer as interest rates rise, were the worst performers and the sector’s index fell 1 percent.

French asset manager Amundi posted the worst performance, losing 4.7 percent after publishing its annual results and new financial targets.

A.P. Moller-Maersk missed fourth-quarter profit expectations and fell 4.3 percent.

Belgium’s Umicore was the top-gainer after raising 892 million euros in equity for new investments in rechargeable battery materials at a discount of only 2.7 percent to Thursday’s closing price.

Shares in French cosmetics group L’Oreal OREP.PA rose 1.8 percent after its fourth-quarter sales beat expectations and comments by its CEO regarding its intentions on Nestle’s stake further buoyed the stock. (Reporting by Julien Ponthus; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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