European shares were lower in early afternoon trading Wednesday. The falls were led by the tech sector and miners, amid profit taking and declining metals prices.
Shares in furniture and discount operator Steinhoff, meanwhile, added to the gloom, tanking 66% on news of problems with its accounting ahead of its results announcement – which has been postponed. Steinhoff’s CEO, Markus Jooste, also resigned Wednesday.
Amid that activity, the EUROSTOXX 600 was 0.6% lower and the EUROSTOXX 50 was 0.83% in the red. Regional bourses also suffered. The German DAX was off 1%, the French CAC was down 0.64% and the Spanish IBEX declined 0.8%.
Steinhoff troubles weigh
Steinhoff International shares lost over half their value following an announcement from the South African based, with German links, retailer.
“The Supervisory Board of Steinhoff wishes to advise shareholders that new information has come to light today which relates to accounting irregularities requiring further investigation,” the press release from Steinhoff International Holdings read.
It went on: “The Supervisory Board, in consultation with the statutory auditors of the Company, has approached PWC to perform an independent investigation. Markus Jooste, CEO of Steinhoff has today tendered his resignation with immediate effect and the Board has accepted the resignation.”
The retailer owns a number of well-known British brands including Benson for Beds and Poundland.
As the European indices are all flashing red Wednesday, it’s no surprise that a number of other shares are falling too.
Tech firms also lost out to wary investors. STMicroelectronics shares slid 3.6% to €18.10, while Micro Focus International shares fell 1.74% to trade at £2,430.
Shares in French catering firm Elior declined 12.2% to €16.06. And, shares in UK firm Saga, which provides a range of insurance and financial services for older Britons, slumped 23.4% to trade at £138.90, after reducing its profits outlook for 2018.