European stocks are down today (March 15th) on the back of a volatile trading period.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was recorded as being down 0.3 per cent as quarterly options expired.
Reuters reports that one of the reasons for the drop is that investors are awaiting more data from the US, which has been the compass for markets during recent sessions.
"Equities have been offered lower after another strong weekly performance as the options expiry gives way to some intraday volatility," Matt Basi, sales trader at CMC Markets, said.
Data expected this afternoon could see the markets swing either way by the end of the day.
A US manufacturing report is due to be released and some commentators are predicting that this will come in north of economists' estimates.
European stocks opened the day flat and there was little sign of the volatile nature of the market to come in the latter stages of the day.
Gerry Celaya, chief strategist at Red Tower Research, stated that the market "just keeps pushing away to the upside".
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