Sunday 1 February 2015

European stocks decline on violence in Ukraine

Corinne Gretler

Published 06/05/2014 | 02:30

Pro-Russian armed men ride on top of an armoured personnel carrier near the town of Slaviansk, eastern Ukraine, May 5, 2014. Pro-Russian separatists ambushed Ukrainian forces on Monday, triggering heavy fighting on the outskirts of the rebel stronghold of Slaviansk, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov was quoted as saying. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)
Pro-Russian armed men near Slaviansk, eastern Ukraine.

European stocks fell yesterday, following a third week of gains for the region's equities, as violence intensified in eastern Ukraine, while a report showed that Chinese manufacturing contracted for a fourth month.

Credit Suisse dropped 2.3pc after JPMorgan Chase forecast that its trading revenue would slide this quarter.

Wincor Nixdorf slid 5.1pc after the maker of self-checkout tills in supermarkets posted worse-than-expected earnings.

Wacker Chemie dropped 3pc after the chemical maker also reported earnings that missed estimates.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.3pc to 336.86 after earlier falling as much as 0.9pc. The benchmark gained 1.3pc last week, its largest rally in a month, amid renewed mergers-and-acquisitions activity.

Irish and UK markets were closed yesterday.

"The rising tension in Ukraine is adding to investors' reduced risk appetite," said Kai Fachinger, who oversees about $700m (€504m) as a money manager at RobecoSAM in Zurich. "The European markets are impacted by the negative reading from the Chinese PMI numbers that indicate a further deterioration of growth into the second quarter."

National benchmark indices retreated in 13 of the 16 western-European markets that were open yesterday. France's CAC 40 added 0.1pc and Germany's DAX slid 0.3pc.


European equities dropped with Euro Stoxx 50 Index futures on concern that the violence in Ukraine would worsen.

The confrontation between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists intensified over the weekend.

The European Commission also lowered its growth estimate for the overall gross domestic product of the 18 nations using the euro to 1.7pc in 2015. It had predicted 1.8pc as recently as February.

In China, HSBC Holdings and Markit Economics said their purchasing managers' index rose to 48.1 last month. Economists had predicted the measure would climb to 48.4 from 48 in March.

Readings below 50 mean that activity contracted.

Credit Suisse retreated 2.3pc to 27.40 Swiss francs. JPMorgan said that its trading revenue would probably drop 20pc in the second quarter.

A gauge of European banks contributed the most to the Stoxx 600's decline yesterday. Societe Generale, France's second-largest lender, retreated 1.1pc to €44.44, while Deutsche Bank slipped 1.2pc to €31.24.

Irish Independent

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