The UK market is in negative territory in afternoon trading Monday, ahead of a European Union summit starting later this week. The Asian markets ended lower as growth worries continued.
A two-day meeting of European Union leaders is starting in Brussels Thursday, which may discuss specific steps to ease the stress in Spain's banking sector. Greece's new Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, recovering from an eye surgery, will be unable to attend the summit owing to health issues.
Meanwhile, investment guru George Soros said in an interview with Bloomberg that drastic measures need to be taken at the summit, or else the euro currency may cease to exist. He called on Europe to purchase bonds issued by Italy and Spain, adding that a European Fiscal Authority needs to be set up to purchase the debt of those countries implementing possible budget cuts.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is declining 1.78 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 0.87 percent.
The FTSE 100 index is currently losing 0.6 percent.
Shire is declining 12.5 percent after the U.S. FDA approved a generic version of its hyperactivity drug Adderall XR meant to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Barclays is falling 1.4 percent, Lloyds Banking is losing 1.6 percent and Royal Bank of Scotland is declining 1.3 percent. Standard Chartered is dropping 1.8 percent.
Miners are broadly lower. Evraz is declining 2.5 percent. Rio Tinto is falling 1.2 percent.
SAB Miller is losing 1.7 percent after reports emerged that Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev is nearing a deal to buy the remainder of Mexico's Grupo Modelo SAB, owner of the Corona Extra beer, for over $12 billion.
Insurer Aviva is losing 2.8 percent. WPP is losing 1.3 percent.
Essar Energy is declining 7.5 percent after reporting a pre-tax loss for the 15 month-period ended March 31.
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is declining 1.60 percent and the French CAC 40 is dropping 0.72 percent. Switzerland's SMI is falling 0.84 percent.
Across Asia/Pacific, major markets ended lower. Australia's All Ordinaries and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped around 0.5 percent each. China's Shanghai Composite Index retreated 1.6 percent, and Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the major averages pulled back off their highs going into the close but still ended the day firmly in positive territory, benefiting from bargain-hunting. The Dow rose 0.5 percent, the Nasdaq jumped 1.2 percent and the S&P 500 climbed 0.7 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for August delivery is sliding $0.74 at $79.02 per barrel while August gold is gaining $3.3 to $1570.2 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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