European stocks were sold off sharply on Thursday, tracking a wider stock-market exodus, as investors once again fretted over global economic growth and the rout in oil prices.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index slumped 3.7% to 303.58, marking its lowest close since September 2013.
Crude-oil prices slid below $ 27 a barrel during Thursday’s session, but had pared losses to trade down 0.9% at $ 27.16 at the time of the European market close.
European stocks tumbled for a seventh day and a gauge of banks slid to its lowest level since 2012 as the global equity rout sparked by investor worries over the economic recovery showed no signs of abating.
Greece’s Eurobank Ergasias SA led lenders lower, sliding 12 percent, as the cost of insuring financial debt rose amid concern over whether banks are strong enough to cope with a downturn. Credit Suisse Group AG lost 8.4 percent after the Swiss National Bank said it could reduce its negative deposit rate further. Deutsche Bank AG reversed gains, falling 4.3 percent to its lowest price since at least 1992 even as it reassured investors that it has enough cash to pay its debts.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 1.6 percent to 309.39 at the close of trading, its lowest level since October 2013, sending it into so-called “oversold” territory. The volume of shares changing hands was 52 percent higher than the 30-day average. A gauge tracking stock swings rose to its highest in three weeks and has jumped 53 percent this year. Greece’s ASE Index slid to its lowest since at least 1989.
Global equities have been battered in volatile trading amid investor concern over oil prices, earnings and the strength of the U.S. and Chinese economies, with the MSCI’s All-Country World Index approaching a bear market. The Stoxx 600 now trades at 13.6 times estimated earnings, about 22 percent below its April 2015 peak.
Source : Bloomberg