Fed talks throttle before the end of the year

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People walk past the Federal Reserve building in Washington DC, United States on May 21, 2020. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 has caused acute pain across the country and indicated that the burden is not evenly distributed.

Ting Shen | Xinhua via Getty Images

LONDON – European markets plummeted Thursday morning as investors digested the latest Federal Reserve minutes.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 2% in mid-morning trades, with all sectors in the red. Basic materials, housewares and retail led the industry losses shortly after the stock market opened in Europe.

The CAC 40 in France was down 2.8%, followed by the FTSE 100 in the UK, which was down 2.1%.

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Looking at individual stocks, Gn Store Nord fell nearly 10% after it released its second quarter results. Mining companies Anglo American and Antofagasta were also among the top losers in the morning session.

The broad downward move came after stocks in Asia Pacific also fell, with Chinese tech stocks falling again as regulatory fears continue to weigh on investor sentiment.

Feeding minutes

Markets saw a sell-off in the US on Wednesday according to minutes of the last Fed meeting in July.

The central bank discussed cutting some of the monetary stimulus, likely before the end of the year, as the US economy picks up pace. However, Fed officials reiterated that a tightening would not necessarily mean an imminent rate hike.

In Europe, too, investors are following recent geopolitical events following the US decision to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. On the data front, new jobless claims are due in the US

Goldman’s latest acquisition

In the corporate world, Comcast and ViacomCBS announced an agreement to launch a European streaming service, SkyShowtime, increasing competition from Netflix and others.

Separately, Goldman Sachs announced on Thursday that it would buy the asset management arm of Dutch insurer NN Group. The deal, valued at 1.7 billion euros ($ 1.98 billion), marks the largest acquisition since David Solomon took over the administration of the US investment bank.

David Knibbe, CEO of NN Group, told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe that he was satisfied with the deal.

“We believe [the deal] will expand on any custom offerings that we offer our customers, “he said.

“There will also be a European hub so that our colleagues at NNIP will have a future too. We will have more access to a wider distribution, which can also help increase the size, and it is obviously an attractive deal for shareholders with 1.7 billion euros. ” [euros] Income if we close the deal. “

Disclosure: Comcast owns CNBC’s parent company NBCUniversal and Sky.