LONDON — European stock markets were in retreat in midmorning trading on Thursday, rattled by decisions in the U.S. and Japan to keep interest rates on ice.
On Wednesday, Janet Yellen, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, said the EU referendum in Britain on June 23 was a factor in the bank’s decision to keep rates steady. The Brexit vote has been rattling the FTSE 100 and sent the pound plummeting against the dollar earlier this week.
The FTSE MIB in Milan led the downslide, falling 1.4 percent to 16,286.09; followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, 0.9 percent to 4,136.19, and the DAX in Frankfurt, 0.8 percent to 9,532.64. The FTSE 100 in London was down 0.6 percent to 5,931.05.
The euro traded at $1.12, while the pound fetched $1.42 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.04 at 10:30 a.m. CET.
Retail and luxury stocks also lost ground, with the exception of Jimmy Choo, which was up 4.4 percent to 1.14 pounds. Although the group did not release any numbers, it said earlier this week ahead of its AGM that it made a good start to the year and that trading is in line with expectations.
“Despite the headwinds facing the majority of the sector in 2016, our successful growth strategy continues to deliver,” the company said.
MySale Group rose 2.2 percent to 0.69 pounds, while French Connection was up 1.3 percent to 0.39 pounds.
Among the morning’s biggest fallers were Italia Independent Group, 9 percent to 14.60 euros; Hugo Boss, 2.6 percent to 53.08 euros, and Aeffe, 3.5 percent to 1.08 euros. Shares in Mulberry Group, which returned to profit in the 2015-16 fiscal year, were flat at 10.25 pounds.