European Shares Decline As Italy Surprises With Windfall Tax On Banks

European stocks were moving lower on Tuesday after data showed China’s exports and imports both sank at their fastest pace since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in July, threatening recovery prospects in the world’s second-largest economy.

Investors also awaited key inflation readings from the world’s largest economies due this week for more clues on the growth and rate outlook.

Meanwhile, Germany’s inflation eased as estimated in July but remained elevated on higher food and energy prices, final data from Destatis revealed.

The consumer price index rose 6.2 percent year-on-year, following a 6.4 percent increase in June. The statistical office confirmed the initial estimate published on July 28.

Elsewhere, France’s current account deficit narrowed in the second quarter driven by the improvement in foreign trade, the Bank of France reported.

The current account deficit fell sharply to EUR 0.5 billion from EUR 9.1 billion in the first quarter.

The pan European STOXX 600 dropped 0.3 percent to 458.34 after finishing marginally higher on Monday.

The German DAX, France’s CAC 40 and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 were down between 0.3 percent and half a percent.

Italian banks were coming under heavy selling pressure after the country approved a 40 percent windfall tax on banks’ extra profits to feed items such as a reduction of the tax wedge, tax cuts and financial support to holders of mortgages on first homes.

Intesa Sanpaolo slumped nearly 8 percent and UniCredit plummeted 6.4 percent.

Regional banks Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas lost 2-3 percent.

Miner Glencore tumbled 3.8 percent after half-year profit dropped 50 percent.

Anglo American dropped 1.8 percent and Antofagasta declined 1.2 percent on concerns over slowing growth in China.

Asset manager Abrdn plunged almost 8 percent after reporting a drop in its assets under management.

German drug and pesticide maker Bayer fell about 1 percent after reporting a net loss of 1.89 billion euros for the second quarter.

Denmark’s FLSmidth was marginally higher after lifting its FY23 outlook.

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