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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Oils drag on Europe shares,Barclays beat forecasts ]

Oils drag on Europe shares,Barclays beat forecasts

Oils drag on Europe shares,Barclays beat forecasts
February 09, 2009 - Reuters

European shares were lower early on Monday, depressed by oils which sagged on lower crude prices and by a cautious mood ahead of the approval of Washington's economic stimulus package.

By 0932 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares was down 0.3 percent at 823.78 points after gaining 2 percent on Friday.

Top aides to President Barack Obama on Sunday urged Democratic and Republican lawmakers to set aside political differences and quickly approve a massive economic stimulus package this week.

The Democratic-led Senate, with the help of a few Republicans, will vote on Monday to end debate on an $827 billion rescue package and clear the way for its passage on Tuesday.

"This week is very important because you've got the (G7) nations meeting at the end of the week, you've got the Obama bill going through, and you've got the second TARP proposal coming out," said Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven Investment Management.

"This is the world's biggest casino throw we've ever seen," he said of the stimulus package. "There is no certainty in this market. We're tap dancing on thin ice."

Energy stocks took the most points off the index as crude fell 0.6 percent.

Britain's BG Group lost 1.9 percent after it offered A$796 million ($538 million) for Australia's Pure Energy, trumping a bid by Arrow Energy, in the latest deal in Australia's coal seam gas sector as firms seek to boost their gas reserves.

BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total were down 1-1.9 percent.

Across Europe, the FTSE 100 index was down 0.8 percent, Germany's DAX was 0.7 percent lower and France's CAC 40 was down 0.9 percent.

BARCLAYS BEAT FORECASTS

Banks were also in the doldrums, but stocks within the sector were mixed.

Britain's Barclays soared 11.5 percent after reporting a 2008 profit of 6.1 billion pounds ($9 billion), ahead of forecasts but down 14 percent on the year following 5.4 billion of charges on bad debts and other credit.

"No great surprises in Barclays numbers ... obviously they are speaking a confident story. But, actually until the UK government makes up its mind on what a commercial or retail bank is suppose to be and whether it is part of the private sector or public sector then everyone is in completely in the dark as to what the banks are and how we should value them," said Jim Wood-Smith, head of research at Williams de Broe.

Unicredit gained 2.2 percent after the group said the bank's 3 billion euros of capital measures will be fully subscribed. Its advisers Mediobanca have obtained commitments from institutions to take up 500 million euros.

HSBC was 1.3 percent lower after UBS said that it expects to build capital ratios via a dividend cut, and through a $11 billion rights issue or over-funding an acquisition.

Automobiles rose after French newspapers said that French President Nicolas Sarkozy will announce that the government will lend around 6 billion euros on two carmakers to help them cope with the financial crisis.

Renault and Peugeot were up 3.3 percent and 3.7 percent respectively.

Investors also turned to defensive drugmakers. Roche, Sanofi-Aventis and Shire were up 0.4-1 percent.


(Source: Financial Mirror, http://www.financialmirror.com/News/Cyprus_and_World_News/13926)



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