European stocks failed to stage a recovery on Friday, posting their worst week since a market correction last February as a new sell-off hit bourses across the globe, amid worries about protectionism and fast-rising US interest rates.
Euro zone stocks initially jumped one percent, but rapidly shed all of their gains despite Wall Street opening higher.
All major bourses closed in negative territory and the STOXX 600 benchmark fell 0.3 percent to 358.95 recording a weekly loss of 4.6 percent.
That is just below the 5.1 percent fallback experienced last February when a sudden scare about rising inflation and interest rates caused a global market correction.
UK shares fared similarly, with the FTSE 100 closing down 0.16 percent at 6,995.91 points, posting a weekly loss of 4.4 percent.
There is “a rotten trend” in Europe, a trader complained, saying that US shares have outperformed their European peers since the beginning of the year with fiscal cuts by US President Donald Trump’s administration boosting earnings.
Europe lags far behind the US in terms of earnings growth, and stronger results will be critical in luring back some of the billions that have been pulled out of European stocks this year.
Third-quarter results are beginning to trickle in from European firms as Wall Street banks formally kicked off the earnings season.
Tech stocks — the worst hit by this week’s sudden drop — made a modest comeback, up 0.5 percent, along with the growth-sensitive auto sector.
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