European shares plunge as Wall Street rout sparks sell-off

Published: October 11, 2018 16:01:03 | Updated: October 15, 2018 13:15:24

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European shares hit more than 20 months low on Thursday following a rout on Wall Street as jitters over rising US Treasury yields sparked a broad selloff of risky assets.

All sectors in the markets were trading in the red, with tech stocks bearing the brunt of the selling pressure after the big US technology stocks that have been the driving force behind a multi-year bull market posted heavy losses overnight.

Europe’s tech index fell 2.4 per cent, even though Ingenico rallied 8.5 per cent after Natixis said it was examining a merger of its payments activities with the financial and payments firm.

By 0712 GMT, the broader pan-European STOXX 600 index was 1.4 per cent lower to its lowest level since end January 2017, reports Reuters.

All big country benchmarks across Europe were down more than 1.0 per cent. Defensive sectors such as healthcare were also lower, but outperformed the broader market.

Bayer rose 5.6 per cent after its Monstanto unit received a tentative ruling for a new trial on the $250 million in punitive damages in US weed-killer case.

Top faller on the STOXX was UK recruiter Hays. Its shares fell 9 per cent after the company reported a slower quarterly fee growth rate, hurt by a relatively stronger pound against other foreign currencies.

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