European stocks dropped as all eyes are on the latest Federal
Reserve minute meeting this week.
Investors will look for clues in the minutes for when the Fed
may start to taper its bond-buying program.
Around the region, the average asking price for a home in the
U.K. fell for the first time this year amid the traditional summer
slowdown, but transactions remained higher than a year ago, and the
shrinking supply needs to be addressed by the government in order
to avoid a house price bubble, a survey showed. Online estate
agency Rightmove said the average price for a home on its website
fell 1.8% in the early weeks of August compared with the same
period in July. Compared with a year ago, however, prices were up
5.5%, reflecting the strength of price increases in the previous
seven months of the year. In July house prices rose 0.3% on the
month and were 4.8% higher on the year.
UK banks were pressured after Standard & Poor's Ratings
Services said revenue growth for the sector is likely to "remain
subdued despite signs of economic growth in the U.K."
Germany's Bundesbank said higher interest rates would become
necessary if inflation increases.
Italian shares sank after local newspapers over the weekend said
center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi threatened to bring down the
government if he is expelled from the Senate, Reuters reported.
In ADR news, Shire PLC (
) has hired Lazard to beef up its team of advisers amid fears of a
17 billion pound takeover attempt by a big U.S. rival, the Sunday
Times reported, without naming sources. It is thought the
appointment was prompted by an informal approach earlier this year
from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (
), which was rebuffed, said the Sunday Times. Existing advisers
include Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, it said.
Statoil ASA (
) has agreed to sell to OMV AG its stakes in oil and gas fields in
Norway and the U.K. for $2.65 billion. The purchase price is
subject to customary adjustments for the year 2013, and is expected
to increase by around $500 million. OMV has agreed to buy 19% in
the producing oil and gas field Gullfaks and 24% in the oil and gas
development project Gudrun on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. In
addition, it has agreed to acquire 30% in the oil field development
Rosebank and around 5.88% in the oil field redevelopment project
Schiehallion in the U.K. OMV and STO have also agreed on an
optional participation in 11 of STO's exploration licenses in the
Faroe Islands and the Norwegian North Sea. The companies have
entered into a strategic research and development partnership on
enhanced oil recovery. The deal is seen closing around
The FTSE-100 was last down 0.53% at 6,465.73, the DAX down 0.31%
at 8,366.29 and the CAC-40 down 0.97% at 4,083.98.
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