LONDON — Europe’s major markets all headed down in trading Tuesday morning.
The CAC 40 in Paris fell the most, losing 1.2 percent to 4,389.87, while the FTSE 100 in London declined 1 percent to 6,706.20. The DAX in Frankfurt slipped 0.8 percent to 9,674.36, followed by the FTSE MIB in Milan, down 0.6 percent to 20,544.86.
The falls came as Markit Economics released its flash euro-zone purchasing managers’ index figures Tuesday, showing that business activity in the area in September “grew … at the lowest rate seen so far this year,” according to the firm. Its PMI composite output index stood at 52.3 in September, down from 52.5 in August.
Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: “The survey paints a picture of ongoing malaise in the euro-zone economy.”
He added: “Concerns about the Ukraine crisis, related Russian sanctions and worries about the single-currency area’s general economic plight appear to be having an increased impact on the euro-zone economy.”
Fashion, luxury and retail stocks had a largely downbeat morning, too.
Tesco continued to be one of the biggest fallers in London, down 2.9 percent to 1.97 pounds, after the supermarket chain’s shares declined almost 12 percent Monday following the disclosure that the retailer had overstated its first-half profit expectations by 250 million pounds. Following the news, Tesco said Tuesday that it had brought forward its new chief financial officer Alan Stewart’s starting date to be effective immediately, rather than Dec. 1.
Other fallers included The Mysale Group, 7.4 percent to 1.90 pounds; Boohoo.com, 3.1 percent to 0.52 pounds, and Marks & Spencer, 1.4 percent to 4.27 pounds.
Among the few risers were Esprit Holdings, 2.7 percent to 12.74 Hong Kong dollars; French Connection, 1.8 percent to 0.63 pounds, and Aeffe, 1.5 percent to 1.85 euros.
At 11:08 a.m. CET, the pound traded for $1.63, the euro for $1.28 and the Hong Kong dollar for $0.13.