LONDON — Investors’ fears that central banks in Europe and the U.S. plan to rein in economic stimulus programs dragged Europe’s stock markets down in midmorning trading on Monday.
The FTSE MIB in Milan led the slide, falling 2.4 percent to 16,752.86; followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, 2.2 percent to 10,346.30; the CAC 40 in Paris, 2.1 percent to 4,395.40, and the FTSE 100 in London, 1.5 percent to 6673.02.
The euro traded at $1.12, while the pound fetched $1.33 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.02 at 10:50 a.m. CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were also in retreat, with the morning’s biggest fallers including Primark parent Associated British Foods, 6.8 percent to 29.43 pounds; Geox, 3.3 percent to 2.26 euros; Koovs.com, 3.3 percent to 0.66 pounds; Marks & Spencer Group, 3.9 percent to 3.30 pounds, and Yoox Net-a-porter Group, 3.8 percent to 27.52 euros.
Among the very few stocks to gain ground were Joules, 2.3 percent to 2.00 pounds; Italia Independent Group, 3.8 percent to 5.17 euros, and Mulberry Group, 6.8 percent to 11.74 pounds. Italia Independent is launching a capital increase of 15 million euros, or $17 million at current exchange, and is fine tuning its strategies after a difficult first half.
Last Thursday, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi disappointed markets by keeping interest rates and the bank’s economic stimulus program unchanged, while there are indications that the U.S. Federal Reserve may put up interest rates.
The Bank of England is due to make its next policy announcement later this week.