Stocks declined along with US equities futures, giving up early gains, as traders prepared for another supersized rate hike in the US amid growing concern that the Federal Reserve may overtighten and increase the likelihood of a painful landing.
Losses in real estate and mining drove the 0.8% decline in the Stoxx 600 index. After initially trading higher, US equities futures also fell, with those on the tech-heavy and rate-sensitive Nasdaq 100 trailing their S&P 500 counterparts.
The US Federal Reserve will begin its meeting today and is anticipated to raise interest rates by another 75 basis points. Wednesday's signal rates will peak at 4% before pausing. The long-term holding approach was developed with the hope that the central bank would steer clear of the disastrous stop-go approach of the 1970s, which caused inflation to spiral out of control. Only two out of 96 economists surveyed, currently forecast a full point hike, indicating that market participants have reduced expectations of an even higher increase.