LONDON – European stock markets were in retreat in early afternoon trading on Thursday, after U.S. markets suffered some of their worst losses of the year last night in the wake of the widening Donald Trump-Russia drama.
The FTSE MIB in Milan lost the most ground, falling 1.9 percent to 20,877.38, followed by the FTSE 100 in London, 1.3 percent to 7,405.48. The CAC 40 in Paris was down 1.2 percent to 5,256.73 while the DAX in Frankfurt fell 0.9 percent to 12,516.82.
The euro traded at $1.11, while the pound fetched $1.29, and the Swiss franc equaled $1.02 at 1:15 p.m. CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were also down, with the afternoon’s biggest fallers including Moncler, 2.2 percent to 20.95 euros; Tod’s, 1.3 percent to 62.70 euros; Carrefour, 2.3 percent to 22.72 euros; and Salvatore Ferragamo, 1 percent to 27.66 euros.
Among the stocks that gained the most ground were Burberry Group, 2.6 percent to 16.83 pounds, as the company reported that full-year profits in fiscal 2016-17 were down 7.3 percent, broadly in line with market expectations.
Marks and Spencer Group climbed 1.1 percent to 3.80 pounds while Gemfields was up 1.8 percent to 0.39 pounds.
U.S. markets were rattled this week by revelations that Trump and his campaign advisers had had multiple contacts with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The New York Times also reported that Trump had asked former FBI director James Comey to stop investigating any alleged collusion between his campaigners and Russian officials.