By RTT News, March 21, 2013, 07:19:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The European markets are firmly in negative territory on Thursday, as disappointing economic data and concerns over Cyprus discouraged risk appetite.
Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades is likely to present a 'plan B' before the country's political leaders today to secure the 10 billion euros bailout offered by its European partners.
The country's lawmakers on Tuesday rejected a bank tax proposed by the EU in return for the bailout, throwing the entire rescue deal into disarray and raising the possibility of an imminent collapse of the country's banking sector.
Anastasiades will put forward a proposal at a political leaders meeting at 07.30 GMT, which is expected to be put to vote before Parliament later in the day, the Cyprus New Agency reported Wednesday citing government sources.
In Moscow, Finance Minister Michalis Sarris is expected to continue talks with Russian authorities on possible financial assistance.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank has decided to continue emergency funding for Cypriot banks until Monday. However, the bank said Cyprus should adhere to the bailout conditions set by the EU and the International Monetary Fund for it to continue emergency lending thereafter.
Germany's private sector output growth eased further from January's 19-month high, reflecting a contraction in manufacturing and slower growth in services, preliminary data from Markit Economics showed.
The seasonally adjusted flash composite output index came in at 51 in March, down from 53.3 in February, marking the lowest reading for three months.
The Eurozone private sector downturn intensified in March with the rate of contraction accelerating for the second straight month, flash survey results from Markit Economics showed. The composite output index fell unexpectedly to 46.5 in March from 47.9 in February. Economists were forecasting the reading to rise to 48.2.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing 0.80 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 0.48 percent.
The German DAX is declining 0.9 percent and the French CAC 40 is losing 1.2 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 and Switzerland's SMI are losing moderately.
In Frankfurt, Lanxess, which expects lower earnings in the first quarter, is losing over 7 percent.
Basf is losing 2.3 percent and SAP is dropping 2.2 percent.
HeidelbergCement is losing close to 2 percent. Kepler reduced its rating on the stock.
Electronics manufacturer Kontron is declining 3.6 percent. The firm reported lower revenues and cut its dividend.
Beiersdorf is moderately higher. The stock was upgraded to ''Buy'' from ''Neutral'' at Citigroup.
Morgan Stanley raised Siemens to ''Overweight'' from ''Equalweight.'' The stock is modestly up.
Brenntag is climbing 5.5 percent. The company lifted its dividend after annual profit increased 21 percent.
In Paris, Car maker Renault is declining 3.2 percent and specialty chemicals firm Solvay is falling 3.1 percent.
Cap Gemini and Vivendi are losing 2.7 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
Bucking the trend, GDF Suez is gaining 1.7 percent.
In London, Eurasian Natural Resources is declining 3.2 percent and Melrose Industries is falling 2.6 percent.
Next is gaining 3.1 percent after reporting higher annual profit and increased dividend.
AstraZeneca is up 1.7 percent. The drugmaker announced another 2,300 headcount reductions in its SG&A activities globally and revealed its strategy to return to growth.
Hennes and Mauritz is gaining close to 2 percent in Stockholm after reporting higher sales for the first quarter.
Nestle is down 0.4 percent in Zurich, despite a ratings upgrade at Citigroup.
Across Asia/Pacific, Australia's All Ordinaries and Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.1 percent each. Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 1.3 percent and China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.3 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street. In the previous session, stocks rose after the European Central Bank assured to provide liquidity to Cyprus and the Federal Reserve said it would continue to support the U.S. economy. The Dow rose 0.4 percent, the Nasdaq added 0.8 percent and the S&P 500 gained 0.7 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for May delivery is falling $0.39 to $93.11 per barrel while April gold is gaining $0.4 to $1607.9 a troy ounce.
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