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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Bank worries push European stocks to 1-month low ]

Bank worries push European stocks to 1-month low

Bank worries push European stocks to 1-month low
November 03, 2009 - Reuters

European stocks fell 1.3 percent in early Tuesday trade, losing ground for the sixth time in nine sessions, as poor results from UBS and a shake-up of UK banks Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland rattled investors.

Heavyweight energy and mining shares also dropped, falling along with commodity prices. BP lost 1 percent, Total fell 0.8 percent, Rio Tinto shed 2.2 percent and Xstrata dropped 2.7 percent.

At 0913 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 1.3 percent at 967.42 points after touching a one-month low of 965.75 points earlier in the session.

The index has lost 6 percent over the past two weeks, after a raft of mixed macroeconomic data eclipsed recent forecast-beating corporate results and halted the market's seven-month rally.

The benchmark index is still up 50 percent from a record low it hit in early March, and up 16 percent in 2009.

UBS sank 4.4 percent after the Swiss lender posted a higher-than-expected accounting charge and withdrawals at all its key divisions pushed it into another quarterly loss. It said it did not expect an immediate recovery of client inflows.

Shares of Lloyds Banking Group gained 3.6 percent after it launched a record 13.5 billion pound ($22 billion) rights issue and, along with rival RBS, agreed to sell off businesses to limit their reliance on government support.

"While Lloyds looks set to deny the government majority control by embarking on a rights issue, the outlook is not so rosy for RBS," said Manoj Ladwa, senior trader at ETX Capital.

"Not only does RBS have to sell off a number of key assets, but with 83 percent state-control, it is going to be seriously constrained in the way it does business."

Shares of RBS dropped 1.7 percent, while Societe Generale fell 3.7 percent, Banco Santander dropped 2.4 percent, UniCredit shed 2.3 percent and Deutsche Bank lost 3.3 percent.

SWISS RE SURGES

The DJ STOXX European bank index, which was down 2.4 percent on the day, has lost 10 percent since Oct 15.

"The timing for such a huge rights issue is quite bad. UBS just posted ugly results that bode ill for European banks results, and CIT just filed for bankruptcy. This raises the question: isn't it too early to pay back government money?" said David Thebault, head of quantitative sales trading at Global Equities in Paris.

Around Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 index was down 1.3 percent, Germany's DAX index down 1.4 percent, and France's CAC 40 down 1.5 percent.

Swiss Re surged 7.1 percent after the reinsurer beat profit forecasts and said it had strengthened its capital.

Metro gained 2.2 percent after the German retailer posted solid third-quarter results, which analysts said showed the success of the company's cost-cutting efforts.

BMW dropped 6.7 percent after the German automaker's third-quarter results missed expectations as sales and profit margins shrank. The poor results hit the auto sector, with Renault down 2.8 percent and Daimler down 4 percent.

Later in the session, investors' focus will turn to the macroeconomy, with U.S. factory orders and durable goods data expected while U.S. Federal Reserve's policymakers start their two-day meeting.


(Source: Financial Mirror, http://www.financialmirror.com/News/Cyprus_and_World_News/18101)



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