European stocks slumped Wednesday as the latest skirmish in Washington, over President Donald Trump's unorthodox stewardship of the Oval Office left markets jilted.
Despite campaign pledges of closer cooperation with Russia in Syria, the controversial White House incumbent's decision to share intelligence related to ISIL activities in Syria with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has gone down like a cup of cold sick in Washington.
Wednesday's news agenda, dominated by renewed scrutiny of Trump's alleged ties with Russia, turned the tables on Europe's winners and losers of recent months.
Stocks exposed to the U.S. were found swimming deep in the red by the closing bell, while financial were also notable fallers, with those companies to have delivered solid earnings reports in the morning hours the only bright spots at the tail end of an otherwise bleak day for markets.
The FTSE 100 dropped 0.25% to close at 7,503 in London while the blue chip DAX index fell 1.35% to 12,631 in Frankfurt. The CAC 40 index was left nursing a loss of 1.63% by the close, after coming to a rest at 5,317.
Stocks were hit hardest in southern Europe with the FTSE MIB in Milan dropping by more than 2%, while the IBEX in Madrid fell close to 2% for the session.
In individual stocks, construction equipment and materials firms Ashtead (ASHTF) and CRH (CRH) - Get CRH Plc Sponsored ADR Report were the biggest fallers on London's blue chip index, given that the U.S. market accounts for the lion's share of their respective top lines.
Another big faller was Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HKMPY) , which dropped 3%, after falling victim to a double downgrade from analysts at Jefferies, who cut the stock from buy to underperform and slashed their price target for the shares by more than 30%.
The drugmaker had its Advair Diskus generic rejected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administraton last week and, given that management have previously guided for 15% revenue growth following its expected releases, investors are now braced for wave of downgrades on Friday after it reports first quarter numbers.
In Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank (DB) - Get Deutsche Bank AG Reportand Commerzbank (CRZBY) were the top fallers with losses of close to 3% each, as investors shunned banking stocks the continent over in light of the current unease over American politics.
In a similar vein BNP Paribas (BNPQY) and Societe Generale (SCGLY) were also deep in the red over in Paris, with losses ranging between 2.5% and 3%. Advertising agency Publicis (PUBGY) was also a big faller in France Wednesday's.
In Italy, all stocks listed on the FTSE MIB closed in the red for the session, although Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) - Get Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. Report was notable faller, with a near-5% loss, after the European Commission said it will take action against the Italian government over its failure to enforce emissions laws in the wake of the company's alleged emissions cheating.
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