European stocks fall as deflation fears bite

GMT 14:22 2015 Friday ,30 January

Arab Today, arab today European stocks fall as deflation fears bite

London Stock Exchange
London - AFP

European stock markets fell Friday, as deflation worries deepened for the eurozone, which was set for showdown talks with Greece over a possible restructuring of debt.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 0.34 percent to 6,787.09 points around midday in the capital.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 dipped 0.02 percent to 10,735.97 points, with early gains won thanks to an improved showing on Wall Street giving way to deflation fears.
The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.22 percent to 4,621.29 points compared with Thursday's close.
The euro climbed to $1.1359 from $1.1317 late in New York on Thursday.
Eurozone consumer prices fell by a record 0.6 percent in January, confirming deflation could be taking hold for the long term, EU data showed Wednesday.
The drop from minus 0.2 percent in December appears to back the European Central Bank's decision last week to launch a bond-buying spree to drive up prices.
Plummeting world oil prices were largely to blame for the fall in the 19-country eurozone, already beset by weak economic growth and high unemployment, the EU's data agency Eurostat said.
"Big news out of the eurozone... as falling energy prices continue to keep the economic storm clouds hovering," said Daniel Sugarman, market strategist at ETX Capital trading group.
The minus 0.6 inflation rate matches the same record drop in prices the eurozone set in July 2009 at the worst of the global financial crisis.
"Deflation is particularly worrying in the eurozone given the high levels of indebtedness in many members, as falling prices increase the real value of the debt, making these debts harder to service," said Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown stockbrokers.
"Deflation is now widespread in both the core and periphery of the eurozone, with Germany the latest to join the party."
Official data Thursday showed that inflation in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, dipped into negative territory in January for the first time in five years.
There was better news Friday on the unemployment front as the eurozone jobless rate fell to at 11.4 percent in December, its lowest level since August 2012.
Elsewhere Friday, Greece's new anti-austerity government was to hold its first talks with its eurozone partners in what promises to be a bitter confrontation over its 240-billion-euro ($269 billion) international bailout.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is due to meet Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the current head of the eurozone group of finance ministers in an encounter that Athens said would mark the start of Greece's negotiations on revising the conditions of the massive bailout.
On the corporate front, shares in IAG, parent of British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia, fell 0.18 percent to 563 pence after Qatar Airways said it had purchased almost 10 percent of the group.
The move represents something of a turn for Qatar Airways, as its chief executive Akbar al-Baker has publicly criticised European carriers, saying earlier this month that they "cannot keep up" with competition from Gulf carriers.
IAG meanwhile is hoping to buy Irish airline Aer Lingus, which this week backed a 1.35 billion euro ($1.53 billion) takeover bid.

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