It was a down day for most global indices, which ended their trading sessions in declines with the exception of Tokyo and Milan.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 0.2 percent to 11,138.66, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong fell 0.4 percent to 23,729.53.
The European markets, with the exception of Milan, were down at the close of trading on Thursday. The CAC 40 in Paris was down 0.9 percent to 3,732.60, while the FTSE 100 in London dipped 0.7 percent to 6,276.88. The DAX in Frankfurt retreated 0.5 percent to 7,776.05. The FTSE MIB in Milan, however, was up 0.9 percent to 17,439.06.
Retail and luxury stocks trading on the European exchanges were also mostly posting declines. Among those losing the most ground were Inditex, down 2.3 percent to 103.20 euros; Luxottica, 1.4 percent to 33.89; Burberry, 1 percent to 13.57 pounds; and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, down 0.5 percent to 138.85 euros, despite saying that net profit rose 12 percent in 2012, as revenues were boosted by a slight acceleration in sales growth in the fourth quarter despite a challenging economic context.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4 percent to 13,860.58, while the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fell 0.7 percent to 698.13.
Retail stocks ended the trading sessions mixed, with more showing slight gains than losses.
Among those that lost ground were Bon-Ton Stores Inc., down nearly 4 percent to $12.55. Zale Corp. lost 3.3 percent to $4.92.
The company that saw the biggest gain was Frederick’s of Hollywood Group Inc., which shot up 13.6 percent to 25 cents. Other retail shares that gained ground were Casual Male Retail Group Inc., up 4.3 percent to $4.59 and Christopher & Banks Corp., which rose 3.3 percent to $6.20.