European stocks are lower on Thursday as investors take their lead from a negative session in the USA on Wednesday following President Trump’s long-awaited tax plan announcement.
The Trump administration has rolled out a tax plan that proposed to slash corporate taxes, tweak personal tax rates, and eliminate most deduction used by wealthier Americans.
The plan contains broad outlines rather than firm legislative text, with that lack of detail proving a disappointment to the markets.
“Nice ideas, but far from a done deal, merely adding to investor frustration about the lack of progress on all those election pledges that helped fuel risk appetite and markets to recent highs,” Mike van Dulken of Accendo Markets put it in his morning email.
As such, European stocks are taking a leg lower in early morning trade, with losses largely between 0.2% and 0.5% as of 8.15 a.m. BST (3.15 a.m. ET), as the scoreboard below illustrates:
Also in focus on Thursday is the European Central Bank’s latest Governing Council meeting. While fireworks are unlikely, the bank’s rate decision and the monthly press conference from President Mario Draghi will be keenly watched given recent improvements in conditions in the single currency area.
The ECB is all but certain to leave current monetary policy in place and maintain a promise for lengthy stimulus, however, there could be hints about when the bank may start to taper its QE programme.
In Britain, the FTSE 100 has dropped close to 0.5% at the open dragged lower by shares in pensions, investments, and insurance firm Legal & General, which has dropped more than 5% so far on the day.
At the other end of the table, Lloyds Banking Group has gained 3% following a positive set of results, which showed profits more than doubling.
“Lloyds ability to generate capital, and its limited needs to retain much of that within the bank mean that it has great dividend potential,” Steve Clayton, a fund manager at Hargreaves Lansdown said in an emailed statement.
Here is the FTSE’s chart: