Forex Pros – European stock markets were mixed on Monday, as oil prices continued to rally and after Moody’s downgraded Greece’s sovereign rating, while U.S. futures indexes pointed to a higher open on Wall Street.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 dipped 0.05%, France’s CAC 40 eased down 0.08%, while Germany’s DAX was up 0.15%.
U.S. crude oil prices spiked past USD106 a barrel, while Brent oil surged above USD117, triggering concerns over the inflationary impact of the global economic recovery.
Meanwhile, shares in the financial sector performed poorly after ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Greece’s bond ratings by three notches to B1 from Ba1 and assigned a negative outlook to the rating.
Italy’s largest lender Unicredit saw shares drop 1.25%, shares of Spanish banking giant Banco Santander slumped 1.17%, while Deutsche Bank saw shares slide 1.28%.
Meanwhile, shares in France’s largest telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent surged 3.65% amid speculation an unidentified Chinese company may bid for the firm.
Also Monday, French luxury-goods conglomerate LVMH saw shares dip 1.1% after it agreed to acquire Italian luxury-goods group Bulgari in an all-share deal. Shares of Bulgari soared 58.8% following the news.
In London, the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 added 0.31% as miners led gains. The world’s fourth largest copper producer Xstrata climbed 1.24%, African Barrick Gold saw shares rise 0.97%, while shares of silver producer Fresnillo jumped 1.95%.
Meanwhile, shares in the largest provider of satellite services to the maritime industry Inmarsat plunged 11.1% after it posted a 4% drop in fourth quarter revenue and lowered its full-year earnings outlook, as maritime revenue growth, which accounts for nearly 50% of the company’s revenue was slower than expected.
The outlook for U.S. equity markets, meanwhile, was upbeat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a gain of 0.16%, S&P 500 futures indicated a rise 0.24%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.25%.
Later in the day, European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet was to speak at a public engagement, while the U.S. was to publish official data on consumer credit.
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