The European markets have finished mixed on Monday. Chinese growth concerns were at the forefront this morning, after statements made by the Chinese Premier over the weekend. Shares of miners, automakers and banks were under pressure on the news. The unexpected decline in U.S. retail sales in June also weighed on the markets in the afternoon.
China's economic recovery is yet to gain momentum and the economic strains may continue for some more time, Premier Wen Jiabao has warned, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday. The country's economic recovery is not yet stable and economic hardships may continue for a period of time, he said during an inspection tour in southwest Sichuan province over the weekend.
Italy plans to dispose public assets between EUR 15 billion and EUR 20 billion each year in order to reduce its public debt by 20 percent in five years, Finance Minister Vittorio Grilli said in a newspaper interview. The sale of assets worth 1 percent of gross domestic product with an annual 1 percent economic growth would help to cut the public debt as planned, he told Corriere della Sera.
The International Monetary Fund slashed its 2013 growth forecast for the global economy on Monday. In an update to its twice-yearly World Economic Outlook, the lender cut the world growth forecast for next year to 3.9 percent from 4.1 percent predicted in April.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks declined by 0.22 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, climbed by 0.08 percent.
The FTSE 100 of the U.K fell by 0.07 percent and the CAC 40 of France lost 0.03 percent. The DAX of Germany increased by 0.13 percent and the SMI of Switzerland gained 0.22 percent.
In Frankfurt, Metro increased by 2.60 percent after UBS raised the stock to "Neutral" from "Sell."
Basf finished up by 0.79 percent. Nomura upgraded the stock to "Buy" from "Neutral."
SolarWorld sank by 7.76 percent. The stock was downgraded to "Sell" from "Hold" at Commerzbank.
In Paris, Carrefour lost 0.41 percent. Berenberg upgraded the stock to "Buy" from "Sell."
Total dropped by 0.07 percent, after Societe Generale downgraded its rating on the stock to "Hold" from "Buy."
In London, Smiths Group announced the disposal of its minority stake in Cross Match Technologies Inc. for up to $77 million. The stock increased by 1.45 percent.
G4S dropped by 8.65 percent, after the security firm regretted its inability to deliver the promised security staff for the London Olympics. The company would record up to 50 million pounds charge in the current year, related to this contract.
Sage Group said its trading performance since April 1 remains broadly in-line with its expectations, despite a "toughening" economic environment. The firm remains cautious on the outlook for Europe. The stock declined by 3.16 percent.
GlaxoSmithKline climbed by 0.62 percent. The company reached a deal to acquire U.S. biotechnology company, Human Genome Sciences, for $14.25 per share in an all-cash deal valued at $3.6 billion.
Barclays fell by 2.74 percent, amid more scrutiny into the Libor manipulation scandal.
National Grid declined by 1.52 percent. Noting that Ofgem has published high level details of its initial proposals, the firm said there are several vital areas where Ofgem's proposals differ substantially from National Grid's comprehensive business plan submissions for transmission and gas distribution.
Clariant rose by 2.17 percent in Zurich, after Nomura upgraded the stock.
Eurozone trade surplus surged notably in May on rising exports and weak imports to exceed expectations, a report from Eurostat showed Monday. Due to an increase in exports and the continuing fall in imports, the trade surplus grew to EUR 6.9 billion from EUR 3.7 billion in April. Economists had expected the surplus to rise to EUR 4 billion.
Inflation in Eurozone was 2.4 percent in June, unchanged from the previous month, the latest report from Eurostat showed Monday. The figure matched the preliminary estimate.
Employment in German manufacturing sector increased in May, data from the Federal Statistical Office showed Monday. The number of workers in the sector rose 2.8 percent year-on-year to 5.2 million in May.
U.S. retail sales showed an unexpected drop in the month of June, according to figures released Monday by the Commerce Department. Advance estimates for U.S. retail sales for June came in at a seasonally adjusted level of $401.5 billion, a 0.5 percent drop from May levels. The drop came after sales fell 0.2 percent in May. Most economists had expected retail sales to rebound in June rather than continuing to contract, with the consensus forecast calling for 0.2 percent growth.
Manufacturing activity in New York has expanded modestly in the month of July, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Monday, with the index of activity in the manufacturing sector rising by more than anticipated.
The New York Fed said its general business conditions index rose to 7.4 in July from 2.3 in June, with a positive reading indicating growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to show a more modest increase to a reading of 4.5.
U.S. business inventories saw a moderate increase in May, matching revised growth figures for April that were slightly lower than initially reported. The Commerce Department released a report Monday showing the total level of manufacturers and trade inventories at $1.5784 trillion in May, a 0.3 percent increase from April levels. The May increase was in line with the expectations of most economists.
by RTT Staff Writer
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