Markets closed lower across Europe on Thursday, with London's FTSE 100 down 0.95% down at 6,104.19 and Germany's DAX closed 9,862.12, down 1.13%. In Paris, the Cac 40 fell by 0.5% to close 4,293.27. The day's price action follows a week long period of strong gains for European stocks.
The FTSE 100 was weighed down by a double whammy of negative news flow and a mining sector that continues to retreat from recent highs. In the morning a number of the index's key constituents went ex-dividend, leading some investors to exit the shares.
Anglo American was the biggest faller, closing the day 6.85% down. Glencore was also down about 4.2%.
At noon, the Bank of England warned of risks to the economy in the event of a Brexit in its inflation report as well as during the ensuing press conference. It is possible that this dented investor confidence in the UK and Germany as both markets began falling simultaneously shortly afterwards.
In Germany, the DAX index fell from lunchtime onward, with particular weakness across some automotives. In France, the CAC 40 fell but by a lesser 0.5%, with ArcelorMittal (MT - Get Report) leading the decline. Arcelor shares fell by as much as 4.5% during the session, in keeping with price action in London.
Franco-Swiss cement giant LafargeHolcim (HCMLF) dropped over 3% in the morning, but pared loses to close 1.3% down. It was weighed down by falling sales in emerging markets. However, the company forecast demand will rise again in 2016 and said it would bring down debt sharply this year.
German utility RWE (RWEOY) surged today, closing 6% up on news of an increase in first-quarter earnings to €2.3 billion ($2.6 billion). The company is planning to hive off its renewables, grids and retail business into a separate entity, while it manages its traditional business to cope with Germany's radical shift away from fossil fuel as well as nuclear energy towards wind and solar power.