The European markets are trading mixed on Wednesday, amid concerns surrounding Greece, as political parties could not agree on forming a coalition in the debt-ridden nation. A fresh election date may be announced shortly for the country, thus triggering doubts on its international aid as well as exit from the euro currency bloc.
Greece's Central bank chief George Provopoulos has reportedly told President Karolos Papoulias that people withdrew as much as 700 million euros amid the uncertainty, and banks fear about their survival.
IMF Chief Christine Lagarde said the spillover effects and the chain of consequences that could result from a Greek exit from the eurozone could be quite messy.
Meanwhile, European Union finance ministers reached an agreement over stricter new banking rules to avoid future crises and relieve taxpayers from the need to bailout banks.
In a statement, the Council of the European Union said the ministers unanimously agreed a general approach on two proposals - the so called "CRD 4" package, amending the EU's rules on capital requirements for banks and investment firms.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.19 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. Companies, is losing 0.40 percent.
The German DAX is falling 0.63 percent and the UK's FTSE 100 is declining 0.61 percent. The French CAC 40 is adding 0.61 percent while Switzerland's SMI is rising 0.16 percent.
In Frankfurt, E.ON is losing 1.7 percent and RWE is falling 1.3 percent.
Volkswagen is dropping 1.7 percent. Daimler is sliding 1.1 percent and BMW is down around 1 percent.
Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are losing 0.4 percent each.
Societe Generale raised Infineon to "Hold" from "Sell." The stock is falling around 1 percent.
In Paris, GDF Suez is declining 2.5 percent and Arcelor Mittal is falling 2 percent.
Vinci is losing 1.9 percent while Bouygues is gaining 0.6 percent.
Renault and Peugeot are declining 1.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
Eiffage is declining 6.6 percent.
Credit Agricole is gaining 3 percent and Societe Generale is adding 1.6 percent. BNP Paribas is down 0.1 percent.
LVMH is up 1.3 percent. Merrill Lynch raised the stock to "Buy" from "Neutral."
EADS is up 0.9 percent. The company lifted its full year earnings outlook, as the Airbus maker reported a first-quarter profit, despite strained defence markets in the Western world.
In London, Glencore is losing 3.9 percent. UBS cut the stock to "Neutral" from "Buy."
UBS also reduced its rating on Xstrata to "Neutral" from "Buy." The stock is dropping 2.8 percent.
ICAP is falling 1.2 percent. The company reported lower annual profit.
Barclays is up 1.5 percent after UBS raised the stock to "Buy" from "Neutral."
IMI is up around 2 percent and International Consolidated Airlines is adding 2.1 percent. Polymetal is declining 4.3 percent.
Lamprell said it would incur a small loss in the first half of the year. The stock is plunging nearly 60 percent.
A.P. Moeller-Maersk tumbled nearly 6 percent. The firm reported a plunge in first-quarter pre-tax profit and said in 2012 it expects a result slightly lower than 2011.
Richemont is climbing 8 percent in Zurich. The luxury goods group reported a higher profit for its fiscal year.
Finmeccanica is climbing 5.9 percent in Milan.
In economic news, the U.K. economic growth is set to remain subdued, while inflation is judged to be somewhat higher than expected three months ago, the Bank of England said in its quarterly Inflation Report.
The BoE said prospects for U.K. growth remain unusually uncertain. Governor Mervyn King said the economy will continue to face headwinds during the forecast period.
Across Asia/Pacific, Australia's All Ordinaries retreated 2.4 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.2 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 3.2 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 1.1 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, worries about Greece weighed on the markets once again. The major averages moved roughly sideways going into the close, stuck firmly in negative territory. The Dow fell 0.5 percent, the Nasdaq slipped 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 dropped 0.6 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for June delivery is losing $1.27 at $92.71 per barrel and June gold is falling $21.3 to $1535.8 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org