European Stocks Mixed As Banks Decline; DAX Sheds 0.1%

Forex Pros – European stock markets were mixed on Tuesday, as shares in the financial sector led losses amid persistent fears over the euro zone’s debt crisis, while U.S. futures indexes pointed to a higher open on Wall Street.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 slumped 0.25%, France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.5%, while Germany’s DAX 30 edged 0.08% lower.

Fears that Portugal was close to seeking outside help to resolve its debt problems continued to weigh on shares in the banking sector. Spain’s largest lender Banco Santander saw shares fall 1.1%, Societe Generale dropped 2.3%, while Unicredit shares were down 1.3%.

Also Wednesday, Deutsche Bank saw shares drop 1.95% after the Wall Street Journal reported that the lender would seek a shareholder approval to raise as much as EUR18 billion in fresh capital.

However, shares in Commerzbank climbed 2.3% after it announced plans to repay nearly EUR14.3 billion of state-aid by June.

Meanwhile, shares in France’s largest utility provider Electricite de France dropped 3.5%, while GDF Suez slumped 1.45% after French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said the government would freeze a planned hike in natural gas prices in July.

In London, the FTSE 100 added 0.3%, as shares in retail giant Marks & Spencer jumped 5.1% after it said that fourth quarter sales in its U.K. stores rose by 0.1%, defying expectations for a 2.5% drop.

The upbeat data boosted other shares in the retail sector. Clothing retailer Next saw shares climb 2.9%, while shares in Burberry added 1.7%.

Meanwhile, shares in miners performed strongly after gold prices rose to a record high. Randgold Resources saw shares climb 1.9%, African Barrick Gold added 1.35%, while shares in silver producer Fresnillo jumped 1.75% after silver prices rose to a 31-year high.

The outlook for U.S. equity markets, meanwhile, was upbeat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a gain of 0.18%, S&P 500 futures indicated a rise of 0.19%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.25%.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release a report on crude oil inventories, while the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Dennis Lockhart was to speak at a public engagement. – Forex Pros offers a diverse set of professional tools for Forex, Futures and CFDs. These include real-time data streams, technical and fundamental analysis by in-house experts, and a widely used economic calendar and Forex News.

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