3:30 PM Frankfurt – European markets traded lower after a summit of European leaders failed to calm credit markets. Insurers fell on the worries that Japan quake related claims may surge to $34 billion. France Telecom-Orange and Agility venture acquired 44% stake in Iraq-based Korek Telecom.
Markets in Europe tracked losses in Japan and Asia after the benchmark index fell as nuclear radiation leak worries added to the Libya turmoil and European sovereign default worries. The last week meeting of European leaders failed to ease pressures in the credit markets.
Nuclear power makers and uranium miners and insurance companies led the decliners in the European trading. World insurers are bracing losses as high as $34 billion linked to Japan earthquake and tsunami.
World markets fell as an aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan last week. The Japanese Nikkei 225 plunged more than 630 points, or 6.11%.
A second explosion occurred at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant on Monday following a blast on Saturday.
The blast occurred at the plant’s No. 3 reactor building, according to Tokyo Electric Power, the operator. An explosion similar in nature destroyed the plant’s No.1 reactor on Saturday.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the situation at the nuclear plant was alarming, and the earthquake had thrown Japan into ""the most severe crisis since World War II.""
The Bank of Japan is to inject 15 trillion yen into the banking system to stabilize financial markets, and another 6.8 trillion yen will be pumped in over the next two days and the central bank will expand government bond buying by 3 trillion yen.
European leaders agreed over the week-end to beef up the euro-zone bail-out fund. The effective lending capacity of the European Financial Stability Facility was raised to €440 billion from around €250 billion while the cost of Greece’s rescue loans was cut.
In Paris CAC-40 index declined 25.00 or 0.64% to close at 3,903.68 and in Frankfurt DAX index edged lower 91.42 or 1.31% to close at 6,890.07.
Euro-zone Industrial Production Remains Unchanged
Euro-zone industrial production rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% on a monthly basis in January, unchanged from the upwardly revised 0.3% increase in December, the Eurostat said on Monday.
Durable consumer goods output grew 2.5% while non-durable consumer goods output fell 0.4%.
On an annual basis, industrial production growth slowed to 6.6% in January from a revised 8.8% in December.
Greece Import Price Inflation Eases
Greece import price annual inflation eased to 6.1% in January from December''s 6.6%, the Hellenic Statistics Authority said on Monday.
On a monthly basis, import prices declined 0.8% in January from the 1.7% increase in December.
Dutch Trade Surplus Drops
Dutch trade surplus declined marginally to €3.09 billion in January from €3.4 in December, Statistics Netherlands said today. This was €0.9 billion more than last year.
During the month, exports value rose 20.7% annually to €32.4 billion, while imports climbed 19% to €29.4 billion.