European stocks struggle on weak data, Greek fears

GMT 15:04 2015 Tuesday ,21 April

Arab Today, arab today European stocks struggle on weak data, Greek fears

European stocks
London - AFP

European stocks mostly slid Tuesday, with Athens plunging after the Greek government ordered all public agencies to hand over financial reserves to help meet urgent debt repayments.

The ATHEX benchmark index of top companies slumped 3.40 percent to 704.89 points in volatile trade, making it the worst performer in the region.

Elsewhere, London's FTSE 100 index slid 0.06 percent to 7,048 points in late morning deals and in Paris the CAC 40 reversed 0.12 percent to 5,181.30 points.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 index trimmed earlier gains but held in positive territory to stand at 11,946 points, up 0.46 percent from Monday's closing level.

And the euro retreated to $1.0675 from $1.0741 late in New York on Monday.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's cash-strapped government had launched an appeal in March for public agencies to turn over their reserves on a voluntary basis. But the call now looks set to become compulsory and will also affect local authorities.

"Yet again, the focus for markets turned towards Greece as anxiety mounts over the threat of Greece leaving the eurozone," said dealer Amir Khan at traders Currencies Direct.

"Liquidity problems in Greece have turned acute and in a hastened move, Prime Minister Tsipras passed a law that requires state entities to provide funding to banks to shore up their reserves.

"Not surprisingly, the euro continued to make losses and markets are positioning themselves ... as Greece could default on debt repayments."

Greece is struggling to unlock some 7.2 billion euros in bailout funds. But Athens and its international creditors have so far been unable to find an agreement on the reforms that need to be undertaken in exchange for the rescue package.

- 'Collecting coins' -

"Despite the looming Eurogroup meeting at the end of the week to discuss Greece’s finances, traders are confident the indebted nation will be given yet another chance," added IG trader David Madden.

"Athens has been hoovering up any spare cash from local authorities to show ... it means business; however, this is the political equivalent of collecting coins that have fallen down the back of the couch, but it may save them yet."

Across in Frankfurt, a leading survey showed that German investor sentiment fell for the first time in six months in April as weak global growth weighed on confidence.

The widely watched investor confidence index calculated by the ZEW economic institute slipped by 1.5 points to 53.3 points in April, disappointing analysts' expectations for a further increase this month, ZEW said in a statement.

"The German economy is in good shape. A stable labour market and increasing wages are strengthening confidence and boosting consumption," said ZEW president Clemens Fuest.

"However, the current weakness of the world economy is dampening export prospects and reducing the scope for further improvements of the economic situation in Germany."

European indices had rebounded Monday after China announced a raft of stimulus measures to bolster growth.

- Asia higher -

Asian equities mostly rose Tuesday after overnight gains on Wall Street, with investors also keeping an eye on Europe as Greece struggles to pay off its debts.

Hong Kong surged 2.79 percent, Tokyo stocks jumped 1.40 percent and Shanghai rallied 1.82 percent.

The gains reversed some of the losses suffered on Monday, partly on fears about Greece's future in the eurozone.


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