Forex Pros – European stock markets posted sharp losses on Thursday, as tumbling commodity prices weighed on mining shares, while U.S. futures indexes pointed to a broadly lower open on Wall Street.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 dropped 1.35%, France’s CAC 40 sank 1.3%, while Germany’s DAX 30 slumped 1.45%.

Commodity prices were broadly lower on Thursday, extending sharp losses from the previous session, as indications that Chinese economic growth was cooling triggered fears over a slowdown in demand for commodities.

In London, the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 was down 1.2% as mining giant BHP Billiton plunged 3.25%, copper producer Xstrata saw shares drop 3.15%, while shares in Rio Tinto fell 3.2%. Shares in silver producer Fresnillo plummeted 5.6% as silver prices sank 4%.

Oil and gas giant British Petroleum saw shares drop 1.7%, while rival Royal Dutch Shell slumped 1.2% as oil prices declined amid concerns over a slowdown in global demand.

Meanwhile, ongoing fears over Greece’s debt crisis weighed on shares in the financial sector. Societe Generale saw shares slump 1.85%, Spanish lender Banco Santander declined 1.1%, while Italy’s largest bank Unicredit fell 1%.

German insurer Allianz saw shares sink 2.1% after it reported a 46% drop in first quarter net income. Revenue in the quarter slipped 2.2% from a year earlier, as natural catastrophes in Japan, New Zealand and Australia weighed.    

Dutch financial service provider Aegon saw shares plunge 6.1% after reporting first quarter net income fell 12% to EUR327 million. Sales fell 2.1% to EUR1.41 billion. 

The outlook for U.S. equity markets, meanwhile, was broadly lower ahead of earnings reports from department store retailers Nordstrom and Kohls. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to drop of 0.5%, S&P 500 futures indicated a decline of 0.55%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures shed 0.7%. 

Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish a report on initial jobless claims as well as official data on producer price inflation and retail sales. In addition, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was to testify before the Senate Banking Committee in Washington.