European shares slide to fresh six-month lows as bond yields surge

By Sruthi Shankar, Siddarth S and Shristi Achar A

(Reuters) -European shares sank to fresh six-month lows on Tuesday, dragged lower by rate-sensitive utilities and miners as bets that U.S. interest rates will remain elevated for a prolonged period boosted Treasury yields and the dollar.

Recent strong economic data and the passage of a U.S. funding bill to avert a federal government shutdown lifted the dollar to 11-month highs and the 10-year Treasury yield to a fresh 16-year high. [US/]

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.7% by 1342 GMT, touching its weakest level since March 27, while Wall Street’s main indexes also fell.

“The steep downturn that we’ve seen from midday on is largely because of the US futures,” said Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers.

“They took a steep leg lower when US bond traders came in and started the sell-off, and then spilled over to European equities,” Sosnick said.

Leading sectoral declines, utilities index dropped 2.2% to a 10-month low, pressured by the prospect of higher rates.

Shares of offshore wind developer Orsted fell 4.1 to a more than five-year low, while Vestas Wind Systems slid 4.8%.

“Higher interest rates and commodity prices have drastically altered the assumptions behind offshore wind power… many projects in the global pipeline were negotiated on assumptions of permanently low interest rates and cheap industrial metals,” said Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank.

Miners fell 2.1% as copper prices dropped to a four-month low against a firm dollar.

Deutsche Bank lowered its 2023 economic growth forecast for the euro area to 0.4% and said a mild recession in the region in the second half of the year cannot be “ruled out”.

Economy sensitive bank stocks, reversed course to fall 0.7% after gaining earlier in the session.

Most of the European sub indexes were in the red by late afternoon trading.

U.S. Federal Reserve officials including Governor Michelle Bowman and Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr said on Monday that monetary policy would need to stay restrictive for “some time” to bring inflation back down to the Fed’s 2% target.

Shares of German online fashion retailer Zalando dropped 4.3% after Deutsche Bank cut forecast for adjusted earnings before interest and taxes, while British luxury firm Burberry dropped 2.4% following a UBS downgrade.

Boohoo dived 9.0% after the British online fashion retailer said a slower-than-expected recovery in sales volumes could result in little or no top line improvement for the full year.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Arun Koyyur)