LONDON — Europe headed into a long holiday weekend on a down note Thursday, with all major indices losing ground in midmorning trading.
A jittery climate following the two bomb attacks in Brussels earlier this week, as well as fears about an interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve, put pressure on markets and on retail and luxury stocks.
The CAC 40 in Paris fell 1.5 percent to 4,357.08, followed by the FTSE 100 in London and the DAX in Frankfurt, which were both down 1.2 percent, to 6,122.46 and to 9,899.40 respectively. The FTSE MIB in Milan sank 1 percent to 18,286.29.
The euro traded at $1.12, while the pound fetched $1.42 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.03 at 11:30 a.m. CET. The Danish krona equaled $0.15.
Retail and luxury stocks were also down, with the morning’s biggest fallers including Tesco, 3.8 percent to 1.90 pounds; Hugo Boss, 3.3 percent to 54 euros; Asos.com, 2.7 percent to 31.05 pounds; Marks & Spencer Group, 3.6 percent to 3.98 pounds, and Geox, 2.8 percent to 2.83 euros.
Among the few stocks to gain ground were Danish jeweler Pandora, 3 percent to 849.50 kroner; and Italia Independent Group, 1.5 percent to 20.30 euros.
Stock markets in the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and other European countries will be closed Friday, March 25 and Monday, March 28, in observation of the Easter holiday.