Markets are down early in the European trading session.
Britain’s FTSE 100 is down 0.4%.
France’s CAC 40 is down 0.6%.
Germany’s DAX is down 0.6%.
Spain’s IBEX is down 0.6%.
This follows a volatile U.S. trading session on Wednesday when Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggested that interest rate hike could come sooner than later.
During the Q&A of her FOMC press conference, Yellen attempted to clarify what the Fed meant by the “considerable time” between the Fed’s asset purchase program and the first increase in the federal funds rate.
Yellen said “something in the order of six months.” That’s a bit earlier than what most were expecting.
“Based on this assessment, if QE ends this fall then first rate hike could take place by the summer of 2015,” said TD Securities’ Millan Mulraine. “It is hard to know if Yellen wanted the market (which has taken it hard on the chin following that particular remark) to start thinking of mid-2015 hike, but that is what was implied by her statement.”
Later today, the U.S. Labour Department will publish its latest weekly tally of initial jobless claims. This will be followed by the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook index and existing home sales report.