European equities slip on Ukraine fears
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European stock markets slid Wednesday, with investors spooked over a deadly missile blast in Poland near the border with Ukraine.
London dipped 0.1 percent, also on news that UK inflation spiked to a 41-year peak in October on rocketing energy bills and food prices.
Frankfurt fell 0.9 percent and Paris stocks sank 0.5 percent after Asia closed mostly in the red.
The dollar fell against the euro and pound but rose against the yen, while oil advanced.
"Fears that the conflict in Ukraine could escalate after a Russian missile appeared to hit a village in Poland, a NATO member country, have held back gains on global markets," said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter.
"There will be reassurance in words from (US President) Joe Biden that it was 'unlikely' to have come from Russia," she added.
The Kremlin has accused Ukraine of a deadly blast in Poland, with Belgium saying it was probably caused by Kyiv's air defences firing at Moscow's incoming missiles.
Back in Britain, official data showed that UK inflation surged in October to 11.1 percent, the highest level since 1981 in a worsening cost-of-living crisis.
The grim news came on the eve of a gloomy UK government budget that is likely to ramp up taxes and slash spending.
"The UK is reeling from yet another super-hot inflation reading as soaring food and energy prices take their toll on household budgets," added Streeter.
This year, the Ukraine war has massively contributed to worldwide inflation soaring to the highest level in decades. Prices are up also on pandemic-fuelled supply constraints.
Rocketing inflation has forced central banks to raise interest rates by big amounts, risking a global recession.
There has been some relief from data showing US consumer prices rose much less than expected in October, suggesting months of monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve was kicking in.
This was followed by data Tuesday showing a below-forecast reading on wholesale prices.
Sentiment was further boosted by China's pledge to provide much-needed support to the country's beleaguered property sector, as well as ease some of the strict Covid-19 restrictions that have played a major role in dragging the economy down.
Key figures around 1120 GMT
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,365.72 points
Frankfurt - DAX: DOWN 0.9 percent at 14,253.73
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.5 percent at 6,610.72
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.5 percent at 3,895.45
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 28,028.30 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.5 percent at 18,256.48 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.5 percent at 3,119.98 (close)
New York - Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 33,592.92 points (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0427 from $1.0349 on Tuesday
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.1910 from $1.1865
Dollar/yen: UP at 139.41 yen from 139.28 yen
Euro/pound: UP at 87.52 pence from 87.22 pence
Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.6 percent at $94.43 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.5 percent at $87.37 per barrel