European markets react to U.S. sell-off

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LONDON — European stocks trade lower on Thursday following losses stateside Wednesday that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average notching its first decline of 2022.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 1% by mid-morning, having pared some losses seen at the open.

All sectors bar banks and autos were in negative territory, as well as most major bourses. Tech stocks led the losses, down nearly 2.5%, amid growing concern about forthcoming U.S. interest rate rises. The future earnings of tech stocks are seen to be less attractive to investors when bond yields are higher — and tend to be vulnerable when rates rise.

European markets followed their Asia-Pacific counterparts lower Thursday, following losses in the U.S. during Wednesday’s trading session.

The declines came after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s December meeting showed officials are ready to aggressively dial back the central bank’s pandemic-era easy monetary policy.

The Fed’s plan to reduce the number of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities it holds comes as it is already tapering its bond purchases and is set to hike interest rates after the taper concludes.

Major indexes on Wall Street fell sharply following the release of the minutes, with the S&P 500 dropping 1.94% to 4,700.58. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 392.54 points to 36,407.11 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite plunged 3.34% to 15,100.17. U.S. stock futures were muted in overnight trading Wednesday.

Data releases in Europe on Thursday include German industrial orders for November and euro zone producer prices for the same month.

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