European stocks fell for a third consecutive session on Thursday, as depressed oil prices added to investor worries about inflation and the outlook for global growth at a time when the U.S. Federal Reserve continues to tighten monetary policy.
Brent crude futures slipped below $45 a barrel despite comments from Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh that OPEC countries were mulling over the possibility of further oil output cuts.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was down half a percent at 386.70 in late opening deals after declining 0.2 percent the previous day.
The German DAX was moving down 0.3 percent, France’s CAC 40 index was declining 0.6 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was losing half a percent.
Banks continued to move lower, with Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Societe Generale and Lloyds Banking Group falling between 0.7 percent and 1.8 percent, after the U.S. Treasury yield curve flattened to almost 10-year lows on Wednesday.
Energy giant Total SA dropped 1.4 percent and Tullow Oil fell over 2 percent as oil held its slide into a bear market on supply worries and amid doubts over OPEC’s ability to balance supplies.
Miners also traded weak, with Glencore losing more than 1 percent.
Chip designer Imagination Technologies Group soared 18 percent after the company, which is in dispute with Apple, has put itself up for sale.
Pharma group Shire rallied 2.5 percent after it secured FDA approval for its new long-acting ADHD drug.
In economic releases, France’s manufacturing confidence dropped slightly in June, survey data from the statistical office Insee showed.
The headline index fell to 108.0 from 109.0 in May even as business managers remained much more upbeat on general production prospects.
The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union offers “an opportunity to strengthen Germany as a business location and, in particular, the financial center Rhein-Main,” the German Finance Ministry said in its latest monthly report.