Arab Today, arab today european stocks euro falter on greece divisions
Last Updated : GMT 06:37:29
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European stocks, euro falter on Greece divisions

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Arab Today, arab today European stocks, euro falter on Greece divisions

London - AFP

European stock markets closed lower and the euro dropped against the dollar on Friday in reaction to violent protests in Athens that rocked Greece\'s divided government after the eurozone held up a debt bailout. London\'s benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 0.73 percent to 5,852.39 points, Frankfurt\'s DAX 30 slid 1.41 percent to 6,692.96 points and in Paris the CAC 40 lost 1.51 percent to 3,373.14 points. Elsewhere in Europe, Milan fell 1.76 percent, Madrid 1.18 percent and Lisbon 0.84 percent. The European single currency dropped to $1.3190 from $1.3286 in New York late Thursday but was little changed at 77.59 yen from 77.68 yen. In midday New York trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.92 percent to 12,771.79 points, the broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.79 percent to 1,341.31 points and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.73 percent to 2,905.90 points. Cracks in the Greek coalition government and violence on the streets appeared to spell trouble for the country\'s commitment to an austerity programme demanded by its EU partners in return for a massive new debt restructuring and bailout deal. Meanwhile, a weakening in China\'s trade performance in January, while distorted by the lunar new year holiday, added to mounting evidence that the world\'s second-largest economy was slowing as the eurozone crisis and weakness in the United States hurt demand for Chinese products. \"The primary concern for the market ... is concentrated on the Greek debt situation as unions there take to the streets and EU finance ministers demand even more austerity cuts,\" US based analysts The Hightower Report said. In Greece, far-right leader George Karatzaferis said his deputies would not approve a new round of wage and pension cuts to secure a new eurozone bailout package and which go to a parliament vote on Sunday. A government source said debt dissenters would be replaced but did not specify whether this would happen at a cabinet meeting expected later on Friday. Eurozone finance ministers on Thursday gave Athens less than a week to meet three conditions in return for aid worth 130 billion euros ($172 billion). \"The rejection ... on the bailout deal leaves us in limbo over the weekend which may encourage a further reduction of risk today during the European trading session,\" Derek Halpenny, an analyst at The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in London said. The deadline was set after talks in Brussels between Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos and his 16 eurozone counterparts, who were unmoved by a general deal by Greek politicians on austerity measures demanded by lenders. \"Given on-going concerns over Greece, traders are reluctant to commit funds until a deal is firmly approved by European finance ministers,\" said ETX Capital trader Manoj Ladwa. China\'s imports slumped 15.3 percent in January compared with one year earlier and with exports falling 0.5 percent, the trade data was China\'s weakest since during the global financial crisis in 2009. Asian stock markets mostly closed lower on Friday in reaction to the news out of China and Greece, although Shanghai\'s main index edged up 0.10 percent. Analysts also digested earnings updates from major companies in Europe, including Barclays bank and energy giant Total. Barclays\' shares rose 0.41 percent despite a 16-percent drop in annual net profit for the British bank, as traders cheered its strong buffer against a future financial crisis. In Paris, Total dropped 1.37 percent on profit-taking after the French energy giant posted a 2011 net profit of 12.3 billion euros.  

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