European stocks slide ahead of ECB meeting, easyJet tumbles

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, September 3, 2021. REUTERS/Staff

(Reuters) – European stocks slid on Thursday, tracking Asian shares lower on concerns of slowing global growth, while expectations were running high for the European Central Bank to announce a timeline to slow down bond purchases later in the day.

The continent-wide STOXX 600 index was down 0.8%, hitting a three-week low, with UK’s FTSE 100 leading losses with a 1.1% drop and Germany’s DAX touching over a one-month low.

British airline easyJet tumbled 13.8% after it revealed plans to raise 1.2 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) and said it had rejected a takeover offer.

Travel stocks, down 1.8%, fell the most among sectors, while miners, technology and automakers dropped between 1.0% and 1.4%.

The ECB is expected to slow its bond buying via its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP), according to a Reuters poll, but also reassure markets that this is not the start of a gradual exit from easy policy.

Asian shares dropped more than a percent, with Chinese gaming stocks coming under pressure from fresh regulatory scrutiny, while data showed China’s factory gate inflation hit a 13-year high in August.

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