Europe Shares Wobble Ahead of EU Summit
Published Thursday, 28 June 2012 10:39 | Written by Amwal Al Ghad
European stock markets struggled for direction in early trade on Thursday, ahead of a keenly watched European Union summit, as investors feared the region’s leaders wouldn’t agree on adequate measures to tackle the debt crisis.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index (XX:SXXP) -0.56% inched 0.3% lower to 245.06 in choppy action, after rallying 1.4% on Wednesday.
Markets have been volatile recently as investors remained skeptical that European leaders would produce a road map to contain the euro zone’s problems when they meet for a two-day summit in Brussels starting Thursday.
On Wednesday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called for “urgent” mechanisms to help control the country’s surging borrowing costs, according to Dow Jones Newswires, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed against calls for shared debt liabilities in the euro zone, such as Eurobonds.
Banks headed lower ahead of the summit, with U.K. banks weighing the most on the pan-European index, Market Watch reported.
HSBC Holdings PLC (UK:HSBA) -1.54% HBC +1.64% lost 1.5%, Barclays PLC (UK:BARC) -3.19% BCS +1.31% shed 1.6% and Standard Chartered PLC (UK:STAN) -1.60% gave up 1%.
The FTSE 100 index (UK:UKX) -0.69% slipped 0.2% to 5,510.59.
In France, banks added pressure to the benchmark CAC 40 index (FR:PX1) -0.86%, which traded 0.7% lower at 3,042.30.
BNP Paribas SA (FR:BNP) -0.78% fell 2.2%, Société Générale SA (FR:GLE) -0.41% lost 1.9% and Credit Agricole SA (FR:ACA) -0.46% tripped 1.9%.
German banks Commerzbank AG (DE:CBK) -4.62% and Deutsche Bank AG (DE:DBK) -2.59% slumped 4.3% and 1.4% respectively.
The DAX 30 index (DX:DAX) -1.01% gave up 0.2% to 3,397.44, although supported by Daimler AG (DE:DAI) +0.11% . The car maker rose 1.4% after Daimler Trucks affirmed its financial targets for fiscal 2012 and an 8% margin target for 2013.