European Stocks Fall After World Bank Cuts Global Growth Forecast

LONDON ( The Deal) -- European stocks fell on Wednesday amid a raft of earnings downgrades, and after the World Bank cuts its global growth forecast. Asian stocks were mixed.

In London, the FTSE 100 shed 0.48% to 6,840.68, while in Frankfurt the DAX fell 0.77% to 9,951.44. In Paris, the benchmark CAC 40 was down 0.77% at 77.36.

German shares were dragged down by a fall in Deutsche Lufthansa, which shed 14.87% in Frankfurt to 17.025 euros.

Investors sold shares after the German flag carrier cut its 2014 operating forecast to about 1 billion euros, from a previous projection of 1.3 billion to 1.5 billion euros. The airline blamed a weaker than expected revenue development in passenger and freight activities as well as negative impacts from strikes and the devaluation of the Venezuelan bolivar.

Lufthansa also lowered its 2015 operating result target to about 2 billion euros, down from a previous forecast of 2.65 billion euros.

In Paris, shares in Vallourec shed 11.4% to 34.95 euros. The Boulogne-Billancourt-based company, which makes steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, said it expects 2014 EBITDA to be 10% lower than in 2013, due to a "significant" drop in demand for its oil and gas operations in Brazil and the Europe, Asia, Middle-East Africa region.

Shares in French aircraft manfucturer Airbus Group also fell, after it announced that Dubai's Emirates airline canceled its entire order of wide-body aircraft, specifically 50 A350-900 planes and 20 of the larger A350-1000 model.

Emirates had booked the order back in 2007, with the first planes scheduled for delivery in 2019. Airbus nevertheless said it expects the A350 order book to keep growing in 2014.

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