European Stock Markets See Red; Real Estate Drops, Financials Pull Back

European stock markets saw red on Wednesday for the first time since the immediate aftermath of the U.S. election, after real estate and financial stocks sank benchmarks in London, while industrials weighed on Europe.

The rout in U.K. real estate stocks came after a series of downbeat commentaries from bellwethers in homebuilders and commercial property. Financials, industrials and airlines were weaker across Europe as investors took profits following several days of strong gains.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.6% in London, to 6,749.4, while the mid-market FTSE 250 dropped by 0.6% to 17,473.5.

The DAX in Germany was also down by 0.6%, to 10,663.2, while the CAC 40 in France was 0.7% lower at 4,501.2. The Stoxx Europe 600 index, the broadest measure of European stocks, was down by 0.2%, to 338.5.

Key European currencies trended lower against the dollar for the session, with the pound down by nearly 40 points to 1.2444 by the time stock markets closed. The euro also shed 40 points and fell to 1.0690.

Prices of major European bonds were divergent on Wednesday, with U.K. and German yields trending downward following two weeks of solid gains, while French yields rose.

U.K. Gilts were down around 30 basis points to 1.26% and German yields were down around 15 basis points to 0.29%.

French yields were up as much as 40 basis points at one point during the session after the former economy minister Emmanuel Macron announced that he will stand for the presidency in 2017 as an independent candidate.

The move was seen as posing a risk that the field for the French presidency could become crowded with moderate candidates, all fighting for a limited share of the vote.

A crowded field might hamper the French establishment's ability to prevent Front Nationale leader Marine Le Pen from making it into the second round of the 2017 election, which would threaten a political shock of a similar scale to the Brexit vote and Donald Trump's victory in last week's election.

In individual stocks, some of the biggest fallers in London were Barratt Developments (BTDPF) , British Land (BTLCY) and ICAP (IAPLY) , whose shares lost between 2.4% and 10%.

Barratt stock fell after the company told investors that it is slashing the price of newly built premium properties in London as part of an effort to counter a sluggish market following property tax hikes in April and the Brexit vote in June.

British Land stock sank after it reported a fall in its net asset value for the first half of the year and said that tenants for office properties are taking longer to commit to leases and are requesting deeper discounts and longer rent-free periods.

The REIT has experienced weakness in the market for office property but said that demand from retail occupiers has remained solid in recent months, echoing the post-referendum story behind the U.K. economy.

ICAP, the world's largest independent inter-dealer broker, reported a nearly 10% fall in trading profit before tax at the rump of its operations that will be left behind when it completes the sale of its voice brokerage business to Tullett Prebon (TULLF) later this year. It was the biggest faller in London.

In Germany, Lufthansa (DLAKY) and Deutsche Bank (DB) were among the worst performers on the DAX, down 4.2% and 1.6%, respectively. Both stocks were victim to profit-taking following several days of solid gains.

In France, Schneider Electric  (SBGSF) and Airbus  (EADSY) were among the biggest losers for the session, after dropping close to 3% each.

Schneider fell after institutional shareholders sold a nearly 2% stake in the company at a similar discount to yesterday's market price.

Airbus fell after engine manufacturer Rolls Royce  (RYCEY) reported that it has experienced weakening demand from business clients during the recent quarter.