European Markets Fall, PostNL Plunges

By RTT News, 
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( - The European markets are in negative territory on Monday, following weak cues from Asia, after consumer prices in the Eurozone increased at a faster than expected pace in January. Investors largely shrugged off data showing German business confidence strengthened unexpectedly in January.

German business confidence strengthened unexpectedly in January to the highest level since July 2011 despite a drop in expectations. The business confidence index climbed to 111.3 from 110.6 in January, the Ifo institute reportedly said. The reading was expected to remain stable at 110.6.

Meanwhile, consumer prices in the Eurozone increased at a faster pace in January than estimated earlier, but the rate of inflation remained unchanged from the December level, revised figures released by Eurostat showed.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of euro-zone blue chip stocks is falling 0.07 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is losing 0.38 percent.

The German DAX is losing 0.22 percent and the UK's FTSE 100 is falling 0.48 percent. The French CAC 40 is sliding 0.09 percent while Switzerland's SMI is slipping 0.09 percent.

In Frankfurt, Volkswagen, which offered to buy Sweden'sScania, is declining close to 5 percent. Barclays cut the stock to ''Equalweight'' from ''Overweight.'' Scania is surging 32 percent in Stockholm.

Deutsche Post and Linde are moderately lower.

Lufthansa is gaining 2.1 percent and Fresenius Medical Care is advancing 1.1 percent.

Deutsche Telekom is rising 1.2 percent. HSBC added the stock to its Super Ten portfolio.

QSC is climbing around 8 percent. JPMorgan raised the stock to ''Overweight'' from ''Neutral.''

In Paris, Deutsche Bank cut Vinci to ''Hold'' from ''Buy.'' The stock is moderately lower.

Saint-Gobain is rising 1.7 percent. Alcatel Lucent, which expanded its collaboration with Intel, is advancing 1.3 percent.

Total is gaining 0.7 percent after a ratings upgrade at Barclays.

In London, HSBC is dropping 3.8 percent. The company reported higher full year profit, but lower revenues.

Associated British Foods, which issued a trading update for the first half, is dropping 2.4 percent.

Vodafone is gaining 5 percent after talks about a bid.

Bunzl, which reported higher annual profit, is rising 4 percent.

PostNL is plunging 19 percent in Amsterdam after the firm reported a sharp decline in fourth-quarter profit.

Volvo is gaining 4 percent in Stockholm after receiving a positive broker recommendation.

The Asian stocks ended mostly lower, as weak U.S. housing data, concerns over U.S. monetary policy and reports that Chinese banks have tightened property lending rendered investor mood somewhat cautious.

In the U.S., futures point to a mixed open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the tech-heavy Nasdaq slid 0.1 percent, while the Dow and the S&P 500 dropped about 0.2 percent each.

Crude for April delivery is falling $0.10 to $102.10 per barrel, while gold is rising $9.4 to $1333.0 a troy ounce.

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This article appears in: News Headlines

Referenced Stocks: ALU , BCS , DB , HSBC , INTC

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