The global major market indices all ended their trading sessions down on Wednesday.
In Europe, the major markets sank at the close of trading Wednesday, due in part to a downward revision of economic growth in the U.K. to a negative 0.3 percent from a negative 0.2 percent in the last three months of 2011. The annual figure has also been revised down to 0.7 percent from 0.8 percent.
The CAC 40 in Paris and the DAX in Frankfurt each fell 1.1 percent to 3,430.15 and 6,998.80, respectively, followed by the FTSE 100, which sank 1 percent to 5,808.99. The FTSE MIB in Milan edged down 0.3 percent to 16,451.71.
Retail and luxury stocks put on a mixed show. Among the day’s biggest gainers were Mulberry Group, which rose 4.3 percent to $31.64, and Marcolin, which climbed 1.9 percent to $5.27. Conversions to U.S. dollars are at current exchange.
Among the stocks that lost the most ground on Wednesday were Burberry Group, which tumbled 3 percent to $24.08, and Benetton Group, which fell 2.8 percent to $5.95.
Earlier in the day in Asia, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 percent to 10,182.57, while the Hang Seng Index fell 0.8 percent to 20,885.42.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5 percent to 13,126.21, while the S&P Retail Index declined 0.9 percent to 622.59. The declines were due to fears that growth overseas was slowing. In addition, the decline in oil and metal prices contributed to the sale of commodity-related shares, which dragged down the markets. There was also talk that quarter-end stock buying, which lifts stock prices and can make a quarter look good, has likely ended as the settlement for today’s trades, the T+3 time frame, would go into next week, and have no impact on the current quarter.
Among the top decliners in the U.S. were Sears Holdings Corp., which fell 6.1 percent to $68.99, and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., down 8.6 percent to $49.82.
Few retailers saw gains. One exception was Charming Shoppes Inc., which rose 4.1 percent to $5.63. Another exception was Aeropostale Inc., up 2.1 percent to $22.01.