European Stocks Slide as Technology Selloff Spreads Around World

12/06/2017 12:24 AST

European stocks fell as investors dumped technology shares while assessing political events in the U.K. and France.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.6 percent at 8:38 a.m. in London. Technology shares led the declines, following their peers in U.S. and Asian markets, with the European tech sector heading for its worst drop since October 2016. The Stoxx 600 rose 0.3 percent Friday, boosted by gains in the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s year-old party, Republic on the Move, won 32.3 percent of the vote alongside its centrist ally MoDem, more than 13 percentage points ahead of the Republicans’ group, according to the Interior Ministry’s final vote count.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will face lawmakers from her Conservative Party on Monday, one day after she was forced to promote prominent Brexit hardliners in her bid to cling to power. The Tories lost their parliamentary majority in Thursday’s general election.

“We prefer Europe ex-U.K. to U.K. equities, with better economic momentum in Europe and higher political risk now in the U.K. post-election,” Citigroup Inc. strategists wrote in a note. Italy’s FTSE MIB Index was trading little changed, outperforming most other Western European gauges, after Italy’s opposition Five Star Movement suffered heavy setbacks in local elections on Sunday.

Traders are pricing in a 95 percent chance that the Federal Reserve increases interest rates at this week’s meeting, trading in fed fund futures indicates.

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