By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

Deutsche Bank shares declined Wednesday in an otherwise listless European stock market which paused ahead of a critical European Central Bank decision.

The Stoxx Europe 600 closed a touch higher at 391.73.

The U.K. FTSE 100 fell 0.7% to 7,501.46, hurt after a brokerage downgrade of heavyweight miners Rio Tinto (RIO.LN) , BHP Group(BHP.LN) and Anglo American (AAL.LN) . See London Markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/miners-weigh-on-london-as-broker-calls-top-for-iron-ore-2019-07-24).

   The German DAX   rose 0.3% to 12,522.89 while the French CAC 40  lost 0.2% to 5,605.87. 

What's moving markets

The mood in markets was hurt after the U.S. Justice Department announced late Tuesday it was probing the U.S. technology giants (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-finally-admits-it-is-investigating-big-tech-for-antitrust-2019-07-23) that have carried stock markets higher.

Closer to home, purchasing managers indexes in Europe flagged rough economic conditions, with flash German manufacturing PMI (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/german-flash-manufacturing-pmi-slumps-to-seven-year-low-2019-07-24) sliding to an 84-month low of 43.1 in July. Eurozone manufacturing PMI fell to an 75-month low. Any reading below 50 indicates contracting conditions.

Against that weak backdrop, the ECB on Thursday is expected to lay the groundwork for an interest-rate cut in September.

Related: It's the ECB's turn to take a step toward further easing when it meets Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-the-ecbs-turn-to-take-a-step-toward-further-easing-when-it-meets-thursday-2019-07-23)

Focus stocks

Deutsche Bank shares (DBK.XE) (DBK.XE) ended 1.9% lower. Deutsche Bank reported a EUR3.15 billion loss (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/deutsche-bank-reports-35-billion-quarterly-loss-2019-07-24) in the second quarter, after taking a EUR3.4 billion restructuring charge, which was larger than it previously flagged. Excluding the charge, it would've reported a lower-than-expected EUR231 million loss.

Deutsche Bank shares have lost 33% over the last 12 months.

Battered U.K. broadcaster ITV (ITV.LN) enjoyed some relief, with the stock jumping nearly 7%. The country's largest commercial broadcaster reported a 16% drop in first-half pretax profit and announced new cost savings. The stock is still down 34% over the last 12 months.

Shares of chip equipment maker ASM International (ASM.AE) leapt 7%, with the company reporting a doubling of second-quarter profit and new orders and a EUR100 million buyback program.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 24, 2019 12:10 ET (16:10 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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