European stocks fell sharply on Thursday after data showed consumer inflation rose at its fastest rate since 2008 last month, raising worries about whether the Federal Reserve will have to tighten policy sooner than it would like.
U.S.-China tensions also remained in focus, with the U.S. accusing the Chinese government of turning Xinjiang into an “open-air prison” by expanding surveillance in the north-western region.
The pan European Stoxx 600 dropped 1.3 percent to 432.16 after rising 0.3 percent on Wednesday. The German DAX tumbled 1.5 percent, France’s CAC 40 index lost 1.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was down 2.1 percent.
Markets in Sweden and Switzerland were closed for the Ascension Day holiday.
Banks were moving lower, with Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Lloyds Banking Group falling 2-3 percent.
Spanish telecoms group Telefonica advanced 1.7 percent after posting a profit rise and backing its FY outlook.
French food and beverage company Danone was little changed on news it is selling a potential $2 billion stake in China Mengniu Dairy Company.
BP Plc fell 3.4 percent and Royal Dutch Shell lost 3.8 percent in London as oil snapped a four-day gain on news the largest U.S. gasoline pipeline has resumed service.
Weak iron ore prices weighed on the mining sector, with Anglo American, BHP, Antofagasta, Rio Tinto and Glencore falling 3-5 percent.
Insurance company Prudential slumped 5 percent after announcing business and Jackson demerger update in advance of its Annual General Meeting.
Burberry shares plummeted 9 percent as the luxury brand reported a 10 percent drop in sales for the year to end-March.
U.K.’s biggest broadband and mobile provider, BT Group, fell 4.4 percent after reporting a fall in revenue and profit for the full year.
In economic releases, U.K. house prices climbed notably in April as the increase in demand increasingly outstripped supply, monthly survey results from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, or RICS, showed.
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