LONDON (Reuters) – European stock markets opened lower on Friday as rising yields continued to take their toll while investors waited for a U.S. job data report to shed some light on whether higher interest rate will be required to prevent the economy from overheating.
U.S. Treasury bond yields are on a seven-year high, echoing a market correction in February when rising yields of risk-free government debt made equities less attractive and lowered their value.
The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> benchmark index was down 0.3 percent by 0738 GMT. Germany’s DAX <.GDAXI> also declined 0.2 percent and the UK’s FTSE <.FTSE> fell 0.3 percent.
Among top movers was Danske Bank <DANSKE.CO>, which is facing a U.S. criminal investigation into a 200 billion euro ($230 billion) money laundering scandal at its Estonian branch. Its shares were down 8.7 percent after a rating cut by Credit Suisse.
Shares in Intu Properties <INTUP.L> soared 25 percent Friday after a consortium, including British billionaire John Whittaker and Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management <BAMa.TO>, said it was considering a bid for the shopping centre owner.