European shares falter as worst year since 2008 fades away

* European shares down 14 pct so far in 2018

* CAC, FTSE down 0.6-0.9 pct on the day

* Euronext falls after move for Oslo (Adds details, updates prices)

By Danilo Masoni

MILAN, Dec 24 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Monday asworries over slowing economic growth and tighter monetaryconditions kept the region's equities on course for theirbiggest yearly loss in a decade

Activity was thin, however, with many markets closed ortrading for a half-day only before the Christmas holiday.

By 0956 GMT, Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE was down 0.6percent, while France's CAC .FCHI and Spain's IBEX .IBEX hadeased 0.9 and 0.6 percent respectively. Germany's DAX .GDAXI and Italy's FTSE MIB .FTMIB were shut.

"Markets still under pressure from last week's more hawkishFed update, exacerbating fears about slowing growth and moreexpensive refinancing following years of stimulus," said Mikevan Dulken, Head of Research at Accendo Markets.

European shares are down nearly 14 percent year-to-date andon track for their worst year since 2008, having fallen back toa two-year-low on last week's rate outlook from the U.S. FederalReserve.

The UK's complicated divorce from the EU, Italy's contestedbudget and a trade spat between Washington and Beijing have alsobeen weighing this year, forcing analysts to progressively cuttheir earnings growth estimates for European companies.

On Monday, investors were also fretting about politicalstability in the United States after an aide to President DonaldTrump said the partial government shutdown could continue intothe new year.*:nL1N1YS07A

Corporate news was thin but the pan-European exchangeoperator EuronextENX.PA said it aimed to buy the Oslo stockexchange for 625 million euros.*:nL3N1YT1V1EuronextENX.PA shares fell as much as 0.7 percent before recovering most of itslosses.

Advertising companies WPPWPP.L and Publicis PUBP.PA were among the biggest losers, down 2.3 and 2.6 percent.

S4 CapitalSFOR.L , the marketing venture set up by formerWPP boss Martin Sorrell, was flat on its first trading day onthe London Stock Exchange's main market.

The British restaurant and hotel owner WhitbreadWTB.L rose 0.9 percent after receiving clearance from the EuropeanUnion for the sale of its Costa coffee chain to Coca-Cola.

The clearance paves the way for a 500 million pound sharebuyback.*:nL3N1YQ4TS

Among major European benchmarks, Germany's export-orientedDAX index, which is heavily exposed to China, is set to be theworst performer, down more than 17 percent so far in 2018.

France's CAC is down 12.5 percent, the FTSE 100 down 13.1percent and Italy's FTSE MIB down 15.8 percent.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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