Arab Today, arab today european stocks euro drop amid spain woes
Last Updated : GMT 18:22:15
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European stocks, euro drop amid Spain woes

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Arab Today, arab today European stocks, euro drop amid Spain woes

Madrid - AFP

European stocks and the euro fell on Friday amid fresh Spanish debt strains and as investors banked strong gains won over the past week, traders said. London\'s FTSE 100 benchmark index of leading shares dropped 0.40 percent to 5,691.52 points in late morning trade. Frankfurt\'s DAX 30 index dipped 0.07 percent to 6,754.04 points and in Paris the CAC 40 slid 0.44 percent to 3,249.43. Madrid shed 0.77 percent. In foreign exchange deals, the European single currency fell to $1.2259 from $1.2276 late in New York on Thursday. \"European markets are trading in a soft manner today, with clients consolidating this week\'s healthy gains across equities,\" said ETX Capital analyst Ishaq Siddiqi. \"Protests in Spain over austerity measures and a lack of detail on the bank bailout plans have pushed the country\'s 10-year bond yields back above the unsustainable seven percent mark. \"Fears are growing that austerity measures will not be able to alleviate pressure on Spain\'s borrowing costs, will eat away at economic growth and cause long-term hardship for the beleaguered nation,\" he added. The interest rate, or yield, on Spanish 10-year debt jumped above seven percent on Friday as eurozone finance ministers conferred by phone on aid to recapitalise Spanish banks. The rate climbed to 7.065 percent from 6.969 percent at the close of trading on Thursday, the first time it has breached 7.0 percent since July 9. In company activity, shares in Vodafone lost 2.08 percent to 179.25 pence, making them the biggest faller on the London FTSE 100 index. The British mobile phone giant on Friday said revenues dropped by nearly eight percent in the group\'s first quarter on weak sales across southern Europe, notably in the eurozone\'s worst-hit nations. Vodafone said revenue fell 7.7 percent to £10.76 billion ($16.89 billion, 13.78 billion euros) in the three months to June 30 compared with the same quarter in 2011. Chief executive Vittorio Colao pointed to \"difficult market conditions, particularly in southern Europe.\" The company noted that \"growth in Germany and Turkey was offset by declines in most other markets, in particular, Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal.\" Nokia slumped 4.56 percent to 1.46 euros as international ratings agency Fitch downgraded the long-term debt of the Finnish telecommunications equipment maker by two notches from \"BB+\" to \"BB-\" and said the outlook was negative. Fitch noted in a statement that it had said previously that it would take such a move if the agency \"was not convinced that Nokia could stabilise the revenue declines and be capable of generating positive single digit operating margins in its Devices and Services division.\" In other company news, Dutch beer group Heineken announced a Sg$5.1 billion ($4.1 billion) bid for Singapore\'s Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) to boost its presence in the region\'s booming alcohol market. Heineken said it had offered to pay Sg$50 a share for APB parent Fraser & Neave\'s (F&N) entire stake in the brewer, a premium of Sg$8 over its Thursday closing price. Analysts said the move could trigger a takeover battle with Thai and Japanese investors for control of APB, which makes Tiger beer and other brands that are popular across Asia. Earlier on Friday, Asian stock markets mostly closed lower as profit-taking after the previous day\'s rallies overshadowed another strong performance on Wall Street. Tokyo fell 1.43 percent, Sydney was 0.18-percent lower and Seoul was virtually unchanged. On Wall Street, shares enjoyed a third day of gains Thursday thanks to upbeat earnings figures from some of the country\'s biggest firms. IBM posted better-than-expected quarterly profits and raised its full-year estimate, while online auction house eBay said its profit more than doubled in the April-June period. While Washington reported weak jobs and housing data, dealers seemed to be unfazed owing to expectations of more stimulus measures to prop up the world\'s biggest economy.

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