LONDON — A hailstorm of concerns rattled European stock markets on Thursday, also the day that U.K. voters take the polls for a general election that is poised to have no clear outcome.
The CAC 40 in Paris led the downturn, falling 1.5 percent to 4,906.13, followed by the FTSE MIB in Milan, which fell 1.4 percent to 22,356.85 and the FTSE 100 in London, down 1.2 percent to 6,849.84. The DAX in Frankfurt dipped 0.9 percent to 11,247.85.
The euro traded at $1.13, while the pound fetched $1.52 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.08 at 11:10 a.m. CET.
The U.K. election, which is too close to call, is set to unleash weeks of uncertainty as party leaders scramble to form a viable coalition or minority government.
In addition, on Wednesday chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen sent U.S. stocks south after saying that equity market valuations generally “are quite high,” and flagged “potential dangers” going forward.
U.S. government data also showed weak export data due to the strong dollar and jobs data for March that fell short of analysts’ expectations.
Retail and luxury stocks in Europe were mostly down, with the morning’s biggest fallers including Yoox Group, 2.2 percent to 26.93 euros; Salvatore Ferragamo, 4 percent to 27.65 euros; Moncler, 2.1 percent to 15.67 euros; Metro AG, 5.8 percent to 30.45 euros; Geox, 3.1 percent to 3.15 euros; Ted Baker, 4 percent to 28.45 pounds; and Aeffe, 2.4 percent to 2.26 euros.
Among the few stocks that gained ground were Mulberry Group, 2.9 percent to 9.28 pounds; and Beiersdorf AG, 1.7 percent to 78.08 euros after the brand reported that profits rose 9 percent in the first quarter.