Europe stocks lower to cap off losing week as France’s CAC 40 tumbles more than 2%

Europe stocks lower to cap off losing week as France's CAC 40 tumbles more than 2%

This picture taken in Paris on March 3, 2024 shows the silhouette of the Eiffel Tower and the city skyline against a cloudy weather. (Photo by Stefano RELLANDINI / AFP) (Photo by STEFANO RELLANDINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Stefano Rellandini | Afp | Getty Images

LONDON — European stocks tumbled on Friday, rounding off a choppy week that has delivered a host of fresh information for investors.

The Stoxx 600 index opened slightly higher but was down 0.9% at 11 a.m. in London, keeping the regional benchmark on course for one of its worst weeks of the year so far.

French stocks plunged 2.25%, with investors still spooked by the possibility of victory for the populist, far-right National Rally party, following French President Emmanuel Macron’s surprise decision to call domestic parliamentary elections. The country’s short-dated bond yields, which move inversely to prices, tumbled by seven basis points.

European markets

Stateside, two sets of inflation data — the consumer price index and the producer price index — both came in softer than expected this week, boosting U.S. stocks. Between those readings, the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and revised its outlook for interest rate cuts to just one such curb taking place in 2024.

Money market pricing continues to suggest expectations for two 25 basis point reductions from the current 5.25%-5.5% range before the end of the year, according to LSEG data.