European stocks open lower, focus turns to ECB; Dax down 0.21%

Shutterstock photo - - European stocks opened lower on Monday, as investors grew cautious ahead of the European Central Bank's upcoming policy meeting this week amid uncertainty over whether the bank will add stimulus measures.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 slid 0.34%, France's CAC 40 dropped 0.50%, while Germany's DAX 30 fell 0.21%.

European equities had found support last week after ECB President Mario Draghi signaled that the bank is ready to act quickly to boost inflation in the euro zone and can also change the level of its deposit rate to boost the impact of quantitative easing.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) slid 0.32% and 0.30%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) and Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) fell 0.18% and 0.56%.

Among peripheral lenders, Unicredit (MI:CRDI) dropped 0.54% in Italy, while Spanish banks Banco Santander (MC:SAN) and BBVA (MC:BBVA) slipped 0.20% and 0.38% respectively.

Dutch insurer Delta Lloyd NV added to losses, with shares down 3.72% after announcing plans to raise as much as €1 billion selling stock in a rights offer to help boost capital.

On the upside, Deutsche Lufthansa (DE:LHAG) AG rallied 1.32% after the Verdi union confirmed an agreement on pay and retirement with ground crew, technical and cargo workers.

In London, FTSE 100 declined 0.68%, as U.K. lenders tracked their European counterparts lower.

Shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland (L:RBS) dropped 0.82% and HSBC Holdings (L:HSBA) lost 0.90%, while Barclays (L:BARC) retreated 1.05% and Lloyds Banking (L:LLOY) tumbled 1.66%.

Mining stocks were also broadly lower on the commodity-heavy index. Rio Tinto (L:RIO) and Glencore (L:GLEN) slid 0.48% and 0.58% respectively, while Fresnillo (L:FRES) lost 0.98% and Bhp Billiton (L:BLT) plummeted 2.04%.

Also on the downside, Aberdeen Asset Management Plc (L:ADN) plunged 2.63% after reporting £12.7 billion of net outflows in the fourth quarter as investors continued to pull money out of the firm's emerging market funds.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.33% fall, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.33% loss, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.30% decline. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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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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