UPDATE 2-European shares slide to over 1-1/2 year lows on slowdown fears


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      STOXX 600 hits Feb 2021 lows

      Tech, real estate stock lead declines

      FTSE 100 down after 50 bps hike from BoE

      Sabadell jumps on bids for payments arm

 (Updates to market close)
    By Shreyashi Sanyal, Johann M  Cherian and Susan Mathew
       Sept 22 (Reuters) - European shares slumped 1.8% on
Thursday, as recession worries heightened after the U.S. Federal
Reserve delivered another jumbo-sized interest rate hike and
signalled more in its fight against stubbornly high inflation.
    The pan-European STOXX 600 index  .STOXX  hit its lowest
since February 2021 led by rate-sensitive tech  .SX8P  and real
estate stocks  .SX86P  which fell more than 4% each, with the
latter hitting over two-year lows.
    The Fed signalled more hikes after delivering its third 75
basis points hike of the year on Wednesday, and sounding less
hopeful of a soft-landing for the U.S. economy.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N30R1F1
    Markets have had to reckon with several central bank
decisions this week, including hawkish moves from Sweden,
Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and intervention in Japan. 
    "(Thursday's decline) is a follow through from last night's
Federal Reserve meeting," said Giles Coghlan, chief market
analyst at HYCM. "Markets are trying to digest all of the
central bank action of the last 24 hours."
    "Stock traders are seeing higher interest rates coming
across, not only the U.S. but also the UK and Europe. So there
isn't much reason for stock traders to take encouragement."
    European Central Bank board member Isabel Schnabel said
interest rates need to keep going up as inflation is still far
too high, even as the euro zone faces an economic downturn.
    The STOXX 600 eyed its second straight month of falls as
Europe grapples also with an energy and cost of living crisis
amid the Russia-Ukraine war hampering gas flows. With potential
blackouts during the winter, analysts predict a deeper recession
for the euro area.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N30S3PI
    Data on Thursday showed euro zone consumer confidence fell
by a more than expected 3.8 points in September from August.
    "In the very short term we are very bearish on euro zone
stocks... because they have big risks during the winter in terms
of energy and geopolitics," said Xavier Chapard, strategist at
La Banque Postale Asset Management.
    London's FTSE 100 index  .FTSE  dropped 1.1% after the Bank
of England hiked rate by 50 bps and said it would continue to
"respond forcefully, as necessary" to inflation, despite the
economy entering recession.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N30T3XX  .L 
    Travel and leisure stocks  .SXTP  slid 3.2%, with French
hotel group Accor  ACCP.PA  tumbling 6.9% after J.P.Morgan
downgraded to "underweight" on concerns about profitability.
    Spanish bank Sabadell  SABE.MC  rose 5.0% after it received
indicative bids from France's Worldline  WLN.PA , Italy's Nexi
 NEXII.MI  and U.S. firm Fiserv  FISV.O  for its payments arm,
which sources said was valued at up to 400 million euros
($393.64 million).  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N30S31I 
($1 = 1.0160 euros) 
 (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal, Johann M. Cherian and Susan
Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Lisa
 ((Shreyashi.Sanyal@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 8780; +91 961
144 3740; Twitter: https://twitter.com/s_shreyashi;))

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