European stocks declined, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index extending a two-month low, as U.S. President Barack Obama said Bush-era tax cuts for high earners should expire at the start of next year. U.S. index futures climbed, while Asian shares slipped.
Zurich Insurance Group AG retreated 4.1 percent after Switzerlandâ€™s biggest insurer reported quarterly profit that missed analystsâ€™ estimates. BP Plc (BP/) dropped 0.8 percent after saying it held â€śadvanced discussionsâ€ť with the U.S. government on resolving the criminal claims against the company.
The Stoxx 600 slid 0.5 percent to 266.71 at 8:45 a.m. in London. The gauge has still rallied 14 percent from this yearâ€™s low on June 4 as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said he would do everything to protect the euro and the Federal Reserve announced a third round of quantitative easing. Standard & Poorâ€™s 500 Index futures rose 0.3 percent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.2 percent.