Trader at Frankfurt stock exchange
London - Arab Today
European stock markets diverged on Monday as investors reacted to a weekend meeting of the world's 20 major economies, eurozone data as well as the unrest in Ukraine.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 0.30 percent to stand at 6,817.82 points around midday in the British capital, weighed down by news that earnings at HSBC bank had undershot analyst forecasts.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 slipped 0.13 percent to 9,644.22 points, while the CAC 40 in Paris edged up 0.08 percent to 4,384.37 compared with Friday's closing values
Madrid's IBEX 35 index advanced 0.32 percent and Milan's MIB dropped 0.57 percent.
The euro slipped against the dollar, despite strong German economic data.
The Ukrainian hryvnia fell to a five-year low of 9.3600 to the dollar.
Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on Monday for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the "mass murder" of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse.
At finance house Varengold in London, analyst Anita Paluch said that the instability in Ukraine could destabilise markets in eastern and central Europe, possible causing a "wave of risk aversion".
Wall Street opened on a firm footing, with the main Dow Jones index gaining 0.11 percent and the Nasdaq up 0.21 percent.
Toby Morris, senior trader at CMC Markets, said: "While UK stocks have drifted marginally lower ... bulls should take solace from their resilience given the backdrop, with the situation in Ukraine continuing to spiral out of control, sending natural gas to five-year highs and reviving concerns over a potential default."
The European single currency stood at $1.3717 in early afternoon trading, unchanged from the level late in New York on Friday.
- Yuan weak against dollar -
The euro was about steady at 82.61 British pence from 82.64 pence on Friday. It also fell to 140.53 yen from 140.86 late on Friday.
The British pound dipped to $1.6604 from $1.6645.
The yuan was at 6.0976 to the dollar, its lowest closing rate since the beginning of November, from 6.0912 late on Friday.
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold hit a four-month high at $1,336.99 an ounce from $1,323.25 on Friday.
Data on Monday showed that German business confidence rose for the fourth month in a row in February, as the outlook for Germany with Europe's biggest economy continues to hold up.
The Ifo economic institute's closely watched business climate index climbed to 111.3 points this month, the highest level since July 2011.
Eurozone inflation stood at 0.8 percent in January, unchanged from the level in December, easing concerns of deflationary pressure on growth.
Asian stock markets lost ground on Monday, with investors little moved by the G20's weekend commitment to boost global growth by $2.0 trillion over five years.
After a disappointing lead from Wall Street on Friday, markets were looking to a string of US data in the week ahead for clues about the health of the world's largest economy, with figures due out on housing, consumer confidence and GDP growth.
In London, shares in HSBC slid 3.59 percent to 630.7 pence.
"HSBC is the talk of the town. Europe's largest bank by market capitalisation revealed an increase in full-year pre-tax profits, but it didn’t measure up to analysts’ expectations," said David Madden, market analyst at IG traders.
Volkswagen tumbled 6.64 percent to 187.65 euros after the company, Europe's biggest carmaker, had said on Friday that it was making a 6.7-billion-euro ($9.19 billion) offer to grab the nearly 40 percent of Swedish truck manufacturer Scania it does not already own.