Investing.com - European stocks declined on Monday, as market
sentiment weakened after the release of disappointing data from
France and Germany and after Fitch ratings agency downgraded
Italy's credit rating.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 retreated 0.49%,
France's CAC 40 shed 0.33%, while Germany's DAX 30 slipped 0.15%.
Official data showed that industrial production in France dropped
1.2% in January, compared to expectations for a 0.1% rise, after a
0.1% fall the previous month.
The report came after official data showed that Germany's trade
surplus declined to EUR15.7 billion in January from a revised 16.9
billion the previous month.
Sentiment was also hit after Fitch lowered Italy's government bond
rating to BBB+ from A- with a negative outlook.
Financial stocks were broadly lower, as shares in French lenders
BNP Paribas and Societe Generale retreated 0.69% and 1.62%, while
Germany's Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank declined 1.42% and 0.41%
Peripheral lenders added to losses, with Italian banks Intesa
Sanpaolo and Unicredit plummeting 1.90% and 2.07%, while Spain's
BBVA and Banco Santander tumbling 0.91% and 1.34%.
On the upside, Nordex surged 7.46% after the company reported
earnings before interest and taxes of EUR14 million euros, beating
In London, FTSE 100 eased 0.01%, as U.K. lenders tracked their
European counterparts lower.
Shares in HSBC Holdings dropped 0.79% and Barclays tumbled 1.55%,
while the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking plunged 1.67%
and 1.74% respectively.
Meanwhile, mining stocks were mostly lower, with Rio Tinto sliding
0.31% and copper producers Xstrata and Kazakhmys declining 0.06%
Elsewhere, Sage Group plummeted 4.31% after the stock's
"equal-weight" rating reiterated at Morgan Stanley.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.10% fall, S&P 500
futures signaled a 0.15% decline, while the Nasdaq 100 futures
indicated a 0.19% loss.
Also Monday, concerns over a possible slowdown in the world's
second-largest economy weighed after data over the weekend showed
that inflation in China hit a 10-month high in February, while
industrial output and retail sales slowed.
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