The voting delay for the U.S. tax reform flattened the rally in financials and regional benchmarks for European stocks started off December with a loss. The leading index of euro zone stocks dropped 1 percent, and Germany’s DAX sunk 1.1 percent in a broad-based sell-off, with all the sectors showing red.
A measurement of European investor anxiety measuring volatility on the STOXX 600 reached the highest in three weeks. Losses increased as the euro climbed to a peak before a sequence of euro zone PMI reports, which revealed solid manufacturing growth but not enough to raise stocks. Britain’s FTSE, which endured this week from a strong sterling, was relatively safe falling just 0.2 percent.
“Yesterday was a pretty heavy trading day with month-end profit taking as we approach the end of the year. I wouldn’t read too much into moves in the next session,” said Ameet Patel, analyst. “Positioning is skewed towards tax reform not happening.”
Financials were the largest influence after the U.S. Senate delayed a vote on a tax reform bill which investors had anticipated would advance banks. BNP Paribas, Lloyds, Santander and ING were some of the lenders that with the worst performance.
The tech sector dropped as well as oil and gas stocks.
Healthcare stocks outperformed. A Morgan Stanley advancement brought UCB up 3.3 percent. Novo Nordisk also increased 2.8 percent.
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British pharma company Indivior showed gains of 11.7 percent after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration accepted its opioid addiction drug.
French telecom company Altice, whose shares plunged 59 percent last month, grew 4.3 percent after the company said it would sell data center and Swiss telecoms businesses for debt reduction.
Dialog Semiconductor was negatively impacted on Thursday from a report that Apple would in-source its power chip design, but improved on Friday with a gain of 2.9 percent.