Most European markets fell Thursday as investor sentiment continued to be negative over increasing concerns of the faltering global economic situation and deepening debt burden of the euro zone.
The German DAX 30 index fell 0.72 percent or 46.61 points to 6407.24. Shares of Daimler AG fell 0.74 percent and shares of Siemens AG declined 0.80 percent
The French CAC 40 index declined 0.53 percent or 16.81 points to 3140.44. Shares of Credit Agricole SA fell 0.97 percent and shares of Renault SA declined 0.76 percent.
London’s FTSE 100 index slumped 0.63 percent or 35.93 points to 5628.55. Shares of HSBC Holdings PLC dropped 1.44 percent and shares of Evraz PLC were down 1.36 percent.
Spain's IBEX 35 dropped 1.24 percent or 84.30 points to 6721.60. Shares of Bankia SA fell 6.48 percent and shares of Telefonica SA declined 1.23 percent.
Investors were disappointed to note that the U.S. Federal Reserve did not announce any further stimulus measures to regain the economic growth momentum. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released Wednesday the minutes of its June 19-20 meeting which indicated to the investors that the Fed is unlikely to be close to a further round of quantitative easing.
Another factor that dragged down the investor sentiment was the concern that the economic slowdown in the euro zone will affect corporate earnings. Market participants are focusing on the second-quarter earnings releases over the coming days with a number of key financials publishing their results later in the month.
Meanwhile South Korea's central bank cut the interest rate Thursday for the first time in over three years in a move to stimulate the economy. The Bank of Korea (BoK) said that it had decided to cut the interest rate by 25 basis points to 3 percent. However, market participants were rather discouraged by this decision as they took it as another indication of uncertain global economic growth.