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Huge Selling Pressure Drags European Stock Markets into Red Zone

By Investors Hub

European stocks have come under selling pressure on Thursday as the latest Federal Reserve meeting minutes rekindled fears of inflation and higher interest rates and the day’s economic releases disappointed investors.

While the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.5 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 0.8 percent and the U.K.?s FTSE 100 Index is down by 1 percent.

Survey data from Ifo institute showed that the German business sentiment index fell more than expected to 115.4 in February from 117.6 in January.

Separately, a government report showed the U.K. economy expanded by 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, down from the 0.5 percent preliminary estimate released last month. Economists had expected no change in the estimate.

British recruitment firm Hays has tumbled despite reporting a 16 percent increase in its first-half profits.

British American Tobacco shares have also moved to the downside. The company posted higher full year sales and profits, although the volume of cigarettes and tobacco heating products fell by 2.6 percent on an organic basis.

Mining heavyweight Anglo American has declined despite the company announcing its biggest dividend in a decade.

Meanwhile, Telefonica shares have advanced. The Spanish telecom company posted a 23 percent rise in fourth quarter core profits despite adverse exchange rate movements.

Henkel has also risen after the German chemical and consumer goods company confirmed its 2020 outlook after posting 9.1 percent growth in adjusted net profit for fiscal year 2017.

Barclays has jumped after the British lender reported a 10 percent rise in pretax profit for 2017 but announced a full-year net loss of 1.9 billion pounds due to one-off and goodwill charges.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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