Business

European Stocks Close Lower as UK Inflation Hits 40-Year High; Stoxx 600 Down 1.1%

Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 1.1% provisionally, with tech stocks shedding 2.8% to lead losses as most sectors and major bourses entered negative territory.
  • U.K. inflation soared to a 40-year high of 9% in April as food and energy prices spiraled, official figures revealed Wednesday, escalating the country's cost-of-living crisis.

LONDON — European stocks closed lower on Wednesday as fears over inflation rattled markets on either side of the Atlantic.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed down by 1.1%, with tech stocks shedding 2.8% to lead losses as most sectors and major bourses entered negative territory.

U.K. inflation soared to a 40-year high of 9% in April as food and energy prices spiraled, official figures revealed Wednesday, escalating the country's cost-of-living crisis.

Stateside, equities were deeply in the red, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbling over 700 points after a warning from big-box retailer Target that supply chain disruptions and higher costs hit the firm's profits.

On Tuesday, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who said he's resolved to raise rates until inflation comes down. Earlier in May, the U.S. central bank raised rates by half a percentage point — its largest hike in two decades — as it looks to fight inflation.

Global markets have remained bogged down by fears of aggressive monetary policy tightening and slowing economic growth.

Earnings before the bell came from ABN AMRO, Burberry, British Land and Premier Foods.

In terms of individual share price movement, wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa jumped more than 12.5% after Reuters reported that Siemens Energy is readying a bid to buy the remaining third of the company that it does not already own.

Toward the bottom of the European blue chip index, Anglo-German travel operator Tui fell 13% after a share placement.

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