European stocks slide on Greece debt meeting

GMT 15:18 2015 Monday ,11 May

Arab Today, arab today European stocks slide on Greece debt meeting

London stocks
London - AFP

European stock markets lost ground on Monday as Greece held talks with its international creditors and concerns mounted about the potential for a default.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index slipped 0.03 percent to stand at 7,043.69 points in afternoon deals.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 lost 0.52 percent to 11,648.47 points and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 1.33 percent to 5,022.61 on profit-taking.

The euro dropped to $1.1155 from $1.1208 late in New York on Friday.

Most European indices had shot higher on Friday as US job creation figures, while solid, were viewed by the market as not being strong enough for the US Federal Reserve to begin raising interest rates next year.

London's stock market had rallied also as Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives held on to power in Britain's general election, with the country avoiding political instability at least in the short term.

"Greece is yet again dominating the session, and is likely to dominate the week as today’s euro area finance ministers meeting has the country and a possible deal at the top of the agenda," said James Hughes, chief market analyst at Etoro trading group.

Greece pushed Europe on Monday to back its reform plans and free up cash before a huge repayment to the IMF, but ministers meeting in Brussels warned there would be no bailout deal yet.

The eurozone's 19 ministers meet in Brussels one day before Greece must pay a 750 million euro debt bill to the International Monetary Fund that some fear the Mediterranean nation cannot afford.

In London, the Bank of England Monday kept its main interest rate at 0.50 percent as Britain battles the risk of deflation.

- Crash hurts Airbus shares -

On the corporate front, shares in Airbus tumbled more than 4 percent after a Saturday crash of one of its A400M military transport planes during a test flight in Spain that killed four employees.

However the shares later recovered part of the losses, standing down 1.8 percent at 62.26 euros in afternoon trading, after the European aerospace giant said it will continue test flights.

Swiss farm chemicals giant Syngenta's shares made further gains Monday as market analysts weighed the chances of a higher bid from US rival Monsanto after its offer was rejected last week as being too low.

Shares shot up by nearly 5 percent in morning trade in Zurich, after having bolted 19.3 percent on Friday after the Basel-based firm turned down the offer. Its shares later stood up 1.0 percent at 400.9 Swiss francs.

Syngenta said Monsanto had made an offer of 449 Swiss francs ($486) per share with approximately 45 percent in cash, but claimed it was undervalued.

Asian stock markets mostly rose Monday on the Friday US jobs report, while investor sentiment was also boosted by China's decision to cut interest rates for the third time in six months, analysts said.

China's central bank on Sunday cut rates by 25 basis points -- after two similar moves since November -- as it tries to support the world's number two economy, which grew last year at its slowest pace since 1990.

US stocks opened little changed Monday as markets eyed talks between Greece and international creditors amid concerns about a potential Greek debt default.

About six minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had edged up 0.03 percent to 18,186.17 points.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.03 percent to 2,116.70, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.21 percent to 5,014.14.

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