European stocks mixed to lower amid E.Z. concerns; Dax down 0.05%

Shutterstock photo - European stocks were mixed to lower on Wednesday, as concerns over the financial stability of the euro zone and ongoing political uncertainty in Italy dampened market sentiment.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 slipped 0.29%, France's CAC 40 edged down 0.18%, while Germany's DAX 30 dipped 0.05%.

Investors remained cautious amid fears the bailout deal for Cyprus could set a precedent for future bailouts in larger euro zone states with troubled financial sectors, with bank depositors and bond holders forced to foot the bill.

Elsewhere, talks in Italy aimed at forming a coalition government continued after general elections in late February resulted in a political stalemate, amid growing concerns that the country may have to return to the polls.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as shares in French lenders Societe Generale and BNP Paribas tumbled 1.40% and 2.06%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank retreated 1.53% and 0.86% respectively.

Peripheral lenders added to losses, with Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit plummeting 1.25% and 2%, while Spain's BBVA and Banco Santander slid 1.47% and 2.08%.

Elsewhere, Safran plunged 3.28%, as France was to sell about 13 million shares in the maker of aircraft engines.

In London, commodity heavy FTSE 100 eased up 0.03%, supported by gains in mining and oil stocks.

Mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto gained 0.77% and 1.55% respectively, whie rival Eurasian Natural Resources jumped 1.94%.

Copper producers Xstrata and Kazakhmys were also trending higher, with shares advancing 0.81% and 5.38%.

Meanwhile, oil and gas major Anglo American climbed 0.98%, while Petrofac added 0.21% and BP inched up 0.03%.

In the financial sector, stocks were mostly on the downside. Barclays dipped 0.04% and Lloyds Banking retreatd 0.86%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland plummeted 2.19%. HSBC Holdings overperformed in the other hand, adding 0.08%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.03% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.08% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.11% increase.

Also Wednesday, a report showed that the Gfk German consumer climate index remained unchanged at 5.9 in March, in line with expectations.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to produce industry data in pending home sales and a government report on crude oil stockpiles. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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

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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