European stocks slumped to the lowest level in two months amid a rapid decline in the U.S. dollar and falling oil prices as investors continue to pause purchases in the global market really amid a pullback in oil prices and concern over the fate of Republican tax reforms.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index, the broadest measure of regional share prices, slipped 0.98% to 380.09 points in the opening hour of trading, the lowest level since Sept. 11, as benchmarks around the region notched notable declines.
Wall Street futures are also pricing in a notable decline at the start of trading, with Dow Jones Industrial Average mini futures falling 139 points and S&P 500 minis suggesting a 14.5 point, or 0.56%, retreat at the opening bell.
Germany's DAX index was marked 1.36% lower, leading regional bourses to the downside, as as investors price in a stronger euro and asses its impact on exports. The single currency gained 1.1% against the U.S. dollar yesterday and traded a one-month high of 1.1844 in after stronger-than-expected German and Eurozone GDP data boosted bets of a faster policy retreat from the European Central Bank.
Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.56% as benchmark heavyweights were hit by both falling oil prices and a stronger pound sterling, which was marked 0.05% higher against the dollar at 1.3190. The U.S. dollar was also firmly on the back foot, falling 0.33% to a one month low of 93.51 against a basket of six global peers ahead of key inflation and retails sales data from the world's biggest economy later in the session.
Energy prices are once again expected to keep markets cool after another hammering for global oil markets in Asia overnight. Brent crude futures for January delivery, the global benchmark for prices, were seen around 1.4% lower from Tuesday's close at $61.35 while WTI futures contracts for the same month, which guide U.S. prices, were marked 1.35% lower at $54.96 per barrel.
The price weakness appears linked to several factors, including slowing growth in China -- the world's biggest energy consumer -- and new projections from the International Energy Agency which trimmed demand forecasts for the whole of 2018 and point to 600,000 barrels of oversupply in the first three months of next year.
The oil markets moves of late have clipped around 5% from global prices since hitting a two-and-a-half year peak last week and put pressure on energy complex shares in markets all over the world.
Asia stocks were similarly affected overnight, with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index falling 0.1% into the start of European trading and Japan's Nikkei 225 slumping 1.6% -- the biggest decline since April -- into the close after weaker-than-expected third quarter GDP figures.
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