Trader reacts at his desk in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange
A trader reacts at his desk in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange REUTERS

European markets fell Wednesday with investor concerns of no monetary easing measures from policymakers yet on the horizon in the uncertainty-laden euro zone economy.

The French CAC 40 index marginally fell 0.07 percent or 2.25 points to 3451.03. The shares of AXA SA dropped 0.46 percent and those of BNP Paribas SA declined 1.26 percent.

London’s FTSE 100 index was down 0.40 percent or 23.27 points to 5817.97. The shares of BP PLC fell 1.21 percent and those of BT Group PLC were down 2.63 percent.

The German DAX 30 index fell 0.24 percent or 16.65 points to 6951.30. The shares of Allianz SE dropped 0.85 percent, while the shares of BASF SE fell 0.67 percent.

Spain's IBEX 35 was up 0.17 percent or 12.10 points to 7223.20. The shares of Bankia SA advanced 4.32 percent and shares of Acciona SA rose 1.27 percent.

The inability of the ECB to announce bold stimulus measures has become a major worrying aspect for market players.

Meanwhile, Standard & Poor’s revised the outlook on Greece’s CCC rating to negative from stable, reflecting the country's precarious economic situation with the possibility of the International Monetary Fund cutting off rescue aid.

“We see the likelihood of shortfalls, owing to election related delays in the implementation of budgetary consolidation measures for the current year, as well as the worsening trajectory of the Greek economy,” S&P said in the statement.

Investors are also concerned that public debt looks set to climb significantly higher, and Italy and Spain will need more than bond purchases from the bailout funds and the ECB to get it out of trouble.

The ECB is considering other measures to support the euro zone economy, notably ways to encourage bank lending to businesses and households. But these measures might be particularly ineffective on the periphery where high unemployment and plunging profits make the private sector reluctant to borrow.