Declines in banks dragged European stocks lower for a third day, while investors weighed financial results amid concern over global growth.
Novo Nordisk A/S slid 7.6 percent and Royal KPN NV lost 1.2 percent after they reported worse-than-estimated earnings. A gauge of lenders posted the worst performance in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, extending its lowest level since 2012. The regional benchmark deepened a drop after U.S. services data missed estimates, stoking concern about a recovery in the world’s biggest economy.
The Stoxx 600 fell 1.5 percent at the close of trading, capping its longest losing streak in two weeks. It briefly inched into positive territory on at least three occasions today, but failed to sustain gains.
Anxiety about global growth has resurfaced, after a two-week halt to the market selloff sparked by China’s slowdown and an oil rout. While central-bank optimism tempered losses toward the end of last month, the benchmark still had its worst start to a year since the financial crisis.
Among other stocks active on financial results,Â Fortum Oyj slid 13 percent after its quarterly comparable operating profit missed projections.
Worse-than-estimated earnings from companies including Roche Holding AG and Hennes & Mauritz AB dragged European stocks lower.
Roche slid 3.8 percent, leading drugmakers lower. H&M dropped 4.8 percent after also warning a stronger dollar will continue to weigh on first-quarter profit. Stocks have moved more in step with with crude prices lately, and Europe’s benchmark deepened losses after energy shares pared some gains.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 1.6 percent at the close. It swung between gains and losses at least six times, falling as much as 2.2 percent and rising as much as 0.3 percent. Worries about global growth amid a rout in oil prices and a slowdown in China have sent the Stoxx 600 down 8.5 percent this month, putting it on track for the worst January since 2008.
Volatility has been on the rise, with the VStoxx Index of euro-area market stress heading for its biggest monthly gain since August. The volume of futures traded shows investors are betting the swings will only get worse.
Among other stocks moving on corporate results, First Group Plc slid 12 percent after lowering its forecast for full-year operating profit. Tele2 AB slumped 11 percent after the Swedish wireless carrier predicted earnings that missed analysts’ estimates.