(Bloomberg) -- For European equities caught in the first major global market selloff of 2018, the biggest losses came for some of the year’s best performers.
Greece’s ASE Index and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index, which beat regional peers this month, were among the worst performers on Tuesday, with declines exceeding 1.3 percent. Miners and banks trailed most industry groups after outperforming the Stoxx Europe 600 Index in January. The European benchmark slid 0.9 percent at the close, its biggest drop in more than two months.
The region’s equities mirrored losses across the world, with the S&P 500 Index heading for its biggest two-day drop since August and yields on U.S. benchmark government bonds near April 2014 highs. Investors are booking profits after a January rally that Bank of America Corp. has called a “super-frothy start” to the year.
“We are expecting the market to cool down a bit; it needs to breathe and be healthy,” Saxo Bank A/S trader Pierre Martin said by phone. “We are also at the end of the month, so we are seeing a bit of profit-taking and re-balancing, especially given the strong gains since the beginning of the year. There has been no major negative data or story to drag the market down -- I wouldn’t call for a panic mode.”
Volatility was also on the rise on Tuesday, with the euro-area’s VStoxx Index posting its biggest two-day advance since August. All 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600 declined, as did every regional stock gauge. Most European benchmarks are still on track for monthly gains.
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