Europe’s construction and material stocks were among the worst performers, down more than 1.75 percent amid growing trade war concerns. France’s Saint-Gobain sank over 3 percent after J.P. Morgan cut its stock recommendation to “neutral” from “overweight.” Another industry to lead the losses was insurance, which was down 1.75 percent.
Looking at individual stocks, Britain’s Hargreaves Lansdown tumbled over 4 percent after Morgan Stanley cut its stock recommendation to “underweight” from “equal-weight.” One of the worst performers was French-listed Altran, which sank 7.5 percent after news emerged that the chairman of Altran North America, Frank Kern, would be retiring from his role.
At the other end, drugmaker Shire was among the top performers on Britain’s FTSE 100 index. Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical secured shareholder approval to complete a £46 billion ($59 billion) takeover of the company Wednesday morning, prompting shares of Shire to jump over 2.5 percent.
Meantime, house-builders jumped after Barclays banking analysts reportedly said that they saw room for material share price gains by banks and house-builders in Britain — if the Brexit deal passed in parliament, according to Reuters. London listed stocks Berkeley Group, Persimmon, Bellway and Barratt Development all rose more than 5 percent.