European stocks hit by new sanctions on Russia

GMT 18:17 2014 Wednesday ,30 July

Arab Today, arab today European stocks hit by new sanctions on Russia

A broker works at Frankfurt stock exchange
London - AFP

Europe's stock markets sank on Wednesday, weighed down by concerns that tougher sanctions against Russia could hurt the region's economy despite news of a sharp rebound in US economic growth.
Frankfurt's main DAX index lost 0.62 percent compared with Tuesday's closing levels to end the day at 9,593.68 points.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index shed 0.50 percent to 6,773.44 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 tumbled 1.22 percent to 4,312.3 points.
Energy companies led the charge lower, after the United States and European Union agreed to expand restrictions against Moscow, targeting the Russian energy, defence and finance sectors.
"The most obvious sector set to suffer on the back of various countries and regions imposing sanctions on Russia is energy –- a fact brought sharply into focus by comments from BP," said IG Group's chief market strategist Brenda Kelly.
Russian markets, however, rallied around 2.0 percent as investors breathed a sigh of relief that sanctions were not tougher. The ruble also gained 0.5 percent to 35.56 to the dollar, and 0.34 percent to 47.53 against the euro.
On Wall Street markets were weak despite news the economy rebounded in the second quarter to a peppy 4.0 percent growth and news that job growth stayed strong for the fourth straight month.
Traders said equities gave up earlier gains over fears that the upbeat data could tempt the Federal Reserve to tighten up monetary policy more quickly than expected.
"The US picture is one of solid underlying momentum. That should mean a first rate hike no later than April next year," said Robert Wood, an economist with Berenberg.
In mid-afternoon trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.53 percent to 16,823.27.
The broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.23 percent to 1,965.33, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was largely flat at 4,44.99.
- Oil companies sink -
In London, Royal Dutch Shell lost 1.37 percent and BG Group retreated 1.75 percent over fears that the sanctions on Russia could weigh on profits.
Barclays' share price soared 4.2 percent after the bank posted a 68 percent jump in first-half net profits, as it continued to shrink its investment bank division.
Schneider Electric shares slumped 4.27 percent in Paris after the electrical equipment maker reported weak first-half results dragged down by poor European demand and unfavourable exchange rates.
Airbus shares climbed 4.2 percent after the defence group posted a stellar performance in the first half of the year, raising net profits by half and confirming its full-year outlook.
In Madrid, BBVA shares closed up 1.1 percent, despite news its first-half profits more than halved, after news that the Spanish economy grew by a better-than-expected 0.6 percent in the second quarter.
But Portugal's main index closed down 3.33 percent as investors expected troubled Banco Espirito Santo to report significant first-half losses after the close.
- Euro sinks -
The European single currency meanwhile slid to $1.3370 -- the lowest level since mid-November. It later recovered slightly to $1.3373, down from $1.3409 in New York on Tuesday.
Economist Jonathan Loynes of Capital Economics predicted that the euro could fall to $1.30 by the end of this year as the eurozone recovery remains weak compared with that of the United States.
News that Germany's inflation fell to the lowest level for more than four years this month also fuelled expectations that the European Central Bank may take new measures against deflation.
"The euro finally appears to be succumbing to the downward pressure implied by the divergent prospects for monetary policy in the US and eurozone," Loynes said.
In Asia, markets mostly rose on Wednesday as investors awaited the Fed decision and US data, with Tokyo rising 0.18 percent to hit a six-month high at 15,646.23 points.
Sydney added 0.62 percent, Seoul climbed 1.00 percent and Hong Kong rose 0.37 percent, but Shanghai ended marginally lower.
On the foreign exchange market, the euro fell to 79.12 British pence from 79.13 on Tuesday. The pound decreased to $1.6907 from $1.6943.
The price of gold eased to $1,294.50 an ounce on the London Bullion Market from $1,299.25 on Tuesday.

Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
arabtoday arabtoday arabtoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabs, Arab, Arab