Markets

European stocks close lower as commodities tumble; Aegon shares down 5.5%

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Key Points
  • May's U.K. retail sales fell 1.4% month-on-month, official statistics revealed Friday, falling well short of the 1.6% expansion expected by economists in a Reuters poll.
  • The German Producer Price Index rose 1.5% month-on-month in May, more than doubling the 0.7% consensus forecast.

European stocks retreated on Friday, as global markets monitor falling commodity prices while continuing to digest a hawkish pivot from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally ended 1.6% lower, with all sectors and major bourses in negative territory. Oil and gas stocks and Europe's banking index were among those to lead losses, closing the session down roughly 3%

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday as investors watched for market moves in the commodities sector after a recent tumble in prices was triggered by a strengthening of the U.S. dollar.

Stateside, U.S. stocks fell on Friday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average on pace to post its worst week since January. Sentiment this week was dominated by the Fed raising inflation expectations and moving forward its rate hike schedule, a move that sent the dollar soaring and impacted commodity prices and rival currencies.

On the data front, May's U.K. retail sales fell 1.4% month on month, official statistics revealed Friday, falling short of the 1.6% expansion expected by economists in a Reuters poll. The Office for National Statistics said food stores contributed most prominently to the surprise decline. The pound tumbled to a new six-week low on the back of the dip.

Meanwhile, the German Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 1.5% month on month in May, vastly outstripping the 0.7% consensus forecast. On an annual basis, the PPI was 7.2% against a projection of 6.4%.

In terms of individual share price movement, Dutch life insurer Aegon fell 5.5% fell toward the bottom of the Stoxx 600 while compatriot pharmacist Shop Apotheke Europe climbed nearly 5%.

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