European stocks extend losses before ECB

LONDON (AFP/APP): European stock markets slid further Thursday following losses in Asia and overnight on Wall Street, as traders awaited the outcome of the ECB’s latest policy meeting.

The euro was up against the dollar but down versus the pound, with a stronger sterling in general weighing on London’s benchmark FTSE 100 stocks index featuring numerous multinationals.

European Central Bank governors meet Thursday under pressure to clarify their stimulus exit plans, as the eurozone economy rebounds from the pandemic and inflation surges.

“Pre-ECB nerves are firmly in evidence in European stock markets,” noted Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG trading group.

Equities were down also on growing concerns about the impact of the Delta coronavirus variant, while tech giants drove a sharp sell-off in Hong Kong after China further tightened its grip on the gaming sector.

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