European Markets Fall Deeper into Correction Territory

Markets Dow Jones Newswires

European stocks sank Thursday, pushing the Stoxx Europe 600 further into correction and keeping up the recent frenzied selloff stoked by fears that global economic growth is stagnating.

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Amid concerns about low inflation, a final reading of eurozone inflation in September released Thursday confirmed consumer prices were 0.3% higher than in September 2013. The inflation rate has now been below 1% for 12 straight months. The European Central Bank's inflation goal is just below 2%.

There are "some indications of a possible slowdown in global growth -- not only in Europe but in other parts of the world," European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said in Milan on Thursday. Stimulus for domestic demand and supply-side measures are needed to fend off risks of slower growth, he said.

Markets: After a brief period of gains, the Stoxx Europe 600 index fell as much as 2.9% as the pace of losses in U.S. stock futures accelerated. Germany's DAX 30 dropped 1.6%, following a decline on Wednesday that left the benchmark down 14.5% from its 2014 closing high, hit in July, according to Dow Jones data.

Spanish and Italian equities were under pressure, with benchmarks in those markets down 2.7% and 3.2%, respectively. France's CAC 40 lost 2%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 stumbled 1.8%, entering into a correction, which is is defined as a drop of 10% or more.

The Stoxx 600 on Wednesday slid 3.2% and marked an 11% fall from its 2014 closing high of 349.71, reached four months ago on June 10.

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Among Thursday's movers, shares of Nestlé SA fell 3% after the food maker posted a 3.1% fall in sales for the nine months ending Sept. 30. The company also said it's on "high alert" in monitoring developments related to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, where it sources some of its cocoa.

Shire PLC dropped 9.7% after AbbVie Inc.'s (ABBV) board late Wednesday pulled its recommendation to buy the British biopharmaceutical company. The U.S. drug maker AbbVie on Tuesday said it was re-evaluating its planned takeover of Shire, because new tax rules from the U.S. Treasury Department made the deal less attractive.

Aveva Group PLC was upgraded to buy from hold at Jefferies, but shares of the information technology company lost grip of gains to fall 0.2%.