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European Markets Retreat After G20 Meet; German Vote Eyed

The European markets retreated on Monday after the G20 finance ministers asked Europe to strengthen its bailout fund, before leading economies provide extra support to raise the resources of the International Monetary Fund.

The meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors held over the weekend in Mexico has added pressure on Germany, which has already contributed the most to bailouts.

Rising oil prices, some earnings news and concerns about a crucial voting in Germany's parliament on the aid package to Greece also impacted sentiment.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is declining 1.02 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is losing 0.70 percent.

The German DAX is losing 1.12 percent and the French CAC 40 is retreating 1.23 percent The UK's FTSE 100 is falling 0.83 percent and Switzerland's SMI is declining 1.34 percent.

Commerzbank is declining 4.8 percent and Deutsche Bank is losing 1.7 percent in Frankfurt.

BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen are losing between 3.8 percent and 2.4 percent. Equinet raised Volkswagen to "Buy" from "Accumulate."

Basf is up 0.5 percent. Credit Suisse raised its price target on the stock.

RWE is down 0.2 percent. Macquarie raised its price target on the stock.

In Paris, Peugeot is declining 3.3 percent and Renault is dropping 2.2 percent.

Veolia Environnement is losing 3.2 percent.

Societe Generale, Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas are declining between 1.2 percent and 1 percent.

In London, Essar Energy is plunging about 9 percent after turning to a loss for the first half of the year.

Associated British Foods is declining 2.6 pecrent. The Primark owner expects that first-half earnings per share will be slightly higher than last year.

Pearson is falling 2.7 percent. The publisher expects to achieve continued sales and profit growth in 2012 after reporting a 72 percent surge in 2011 pre-tax profit.

HSBC is losing 2.3 percent. Te lender expects a more moderate growth in fiscal 2012, after posting a 15 percent increase in pre-tax profit for fiscal 2011.

Vedanta is up 0.5 percent after announcing the merger of its Indian units.

BP is up 1.5 percent after the oil giant said the U.S. District Court has adjourned the start of the oil spill litigation trial by one week. Bloomberg reported that BP and the plaintiffs are discussing a $14 billion settlement deal.

Bunzl is gaining 2.7 percent after the distribution and outsourcing group reporetd increased annual adjusted profit and hiked its dividend.

Cookson Group is climbing 2.7 percent after reporting higher profit for 2011.

AP Moeller-Maersk is down 3.4 percent in Copenhagen. The company reported a sharp decline in 2011 profit.

In economic news, producer prices in the French market increased at a slightly faster than expected pace in January, data released by statistical office Insee showed. Output prices of goods sold in the domestic market increased 4.2 percent on an annual basis in January, faster than the 4.1 percent growth economists expected.

Across Asia/Pacific, markets closed mostly lower as rising oil prices continued to cause concern.
Australia's All Ordinaries lost 0.8 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.9 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.14 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index, however, added 0.30 percent.

In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the Dow edged down 0.01 percent, while the Nasdaq and the S&P rose about 0.2 percent each.

In the commodity space, crude for April delivery is losing $1.14 to $108.63 per barrel while April gold is falling $9.1 to $1767.3 a troy ounce.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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