News Column

European Stocks Stumble On Weak Economic Data

June 23, 2014

BRUSSELS (Alliance News) - European stocks edged lower for a second consecutive session amid concerns about sectarian fighting in Iraq and some weak economic data from the euro zone.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks dropped 0.46%.

The German DAX lost 0.54% and the French CAC 40 slid 0.45%. The UK'sFTSE 100 fell 0.24%.

Siemens lost 0.9% after French speed-train maker Alstom's board decided to recommend the improved USD17 billion offer made by General Electric Co. for Alstom's power and grid businesses. Alstom dropped 3.5%.

Further in Paris, EDF lost 2.7% and Safran fell 2%.

Oil services provider Technip lost 2.4%.

Alcatel-Lucent jumped 4.5%.

BNP Paribas lost 0.45%. The lender is reportedly nearing an agreement to plead guilty and pay USD8 billion to USD9 billion to settle allegations that it violated US sanctions.

Shire, which last week rejected an acquisition proposal, was down 1.4%.

Mining stocks were higher in London, especiall BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentacion SA advanced 2.9% after the Spanish discount grocer said it would sell its French business to Carrefour SA.

Sulzer AG dropped 2% to 127.60 francs. Vontobel Holding AG reduced its earnings-per-share estimates on the pumpmaker.

In economic news, survey data from Markit Economics showed the flash headline index covering output of both manufacturing and services in Eurozone fell to 52.8 from 53.5 in May. The score was above the neutral 50 mark, but below economists' forecast of 53.4.

Separate data showed that Germany's private sector expanded at the slowest pace in eight months in June. Flash survey data from Markit Economics revealed that despite softening to the weakest in eight months, the pace of growth remained above the long-run series average.

Flash data from Markit Economics showed that Chinese manufacturing sector expanded for the first time in six months in June, driven by domestic and foreign orders.

Asian stocks erased early gains to end mostly lower, as mounting political tensions between Hong Kong and the mainland and fears that the entire state of Iraq could soon fall into the hands of militants overshadowed signs of stabilization in the world's second-largest economy.

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Source: Alliance News

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