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European Stocks Drop on Greece Impasse
fx7mental
#1 بتاريخ : 10 February 2012 14:21:17(UTC)

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European (SXXP) stocks fell for the fourth time in five days as the region’s finance ministers held back approval of a rescue package for Greece. U.S. index futures and Asian shares also retreated.

National Bank of Greece SA (ETE) declined 5.7 percent. Saab AB (SAABB) plunged 10 percent after fourth-quarter earnings and sales missed analysts’ estimates. Barclays Plc erased early losses and advanced 4 percent after raising its cost-cutting target and reducing the bonus pool. Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) jumped 15 percent after saying adjusted operating margins in will increase in 2012.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.4 percent to 262.47 at 10:29 a.m. in London, extending its weekly loss to 0.8 percent. The gauge has still advanced 7.3 percent this year amid optimism that the euro area will contain its debt crisis and that the U.S. economic recovery remains intact. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.6 percent, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.5 percent.

“It’s still Greece that’s dominating,” the sentiment, said Will Hedden, a sales trader at IG Markets Ltd. in London. There are “people ready to get in and get some risk on and move this market forward, but it is this little annoying Greece issue, I think, that is still stopping people from jumping in.”

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said his euro- area counterparts refused to approve a second aid package at an emergency meeting yesterday because the government fell short of austerity demands and because of a lack of assurances by Greek party leaders that they will stick to their commitments after elections due as soon as April.

Future of Greece

Venizelos said the parliamentary vote set to begin this weekend amounted to a ballot on euro membership.

“If we see the salvation and future of the country in the euro area, in Europe, we have to do whatever we have to do to get the program approved,” Venizelos said after the Brussels meeting.

China’s exports fell and imports slid more than forecast in January, the first declines in two years, as a week-long holiday disrupted trade and commodity prices dropped.

In the U.S., a report at 9:55 a.m. New York time may show that the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index for February probably eased to 74.8 from January’s one-year high of 75, according to the median forecast of 71 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.

Bank Shares

National Bank of Greece, the country’s largest lender, fell 5.7 percent to 2.79 euros. Alpha Bank SA, the second-biggest, fell 8.1 percent to 1.47 euros. EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA dropped 6.9 percent to 90 euro cents.

Saab declined 10 percent to 134.40 kronor. The Swedish company reported a fourth-quarter net income of 413 million kronor against analysts’ projection for 474 million kronor.

Barclays rose 4 percent to 242.5 pence, after falling as much as 3.5 percent. The first of Britain’s biggest banks to report full-year earnings, Barclays raised its cost-cutting target for the next year to 2 billion pounds to bolster profit. It set limits on cash bonuses and cut the amount it set aside for bonuses at Barclays Capital by 32 percent. The London-based lender also said it may fail to hit the 13 percent target for return-on-equity by 2013.

Commerzbank AG (CBK)Germany’s second-largest lender, lost 3.3 percent to 2.10 euros.

Alcatel-Lucent (ALU)France’s largest telecommunications-gear supplier, jumped 15 percent to 1.73 euros euros after it said it expects to increase adjusted operating margins in 2012.

National Grid Plc (NG/) slid 2.3 percent to 625 pence after its stock was cut to “neutral” from “overweight” at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Total SA dropped 0.8 percent to 40.83 euros. The company plans to cut net investments to $20 billion in 2012, compared with $22 billion last year. Adjusted net income in the fourth quarter was 2.73 billion euros, in line with the average analyst estimate of 2.72 billion euros.

Next Plc (NXT), the U.K’s second-largest clothing retailer, advanced 1.7 percent to 2,766 pence after the shares were raised to “buy” from “hold” at Deutsche Bank AG. (DBK)

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Stoukas in Athens at astoukas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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