4:00 PM Frankfurt, Germany – European shares retreated on weakening German manufacturing data and interest rate jitters ahead of the ECB meeting. French utility EDF slumped after the CFO resigned. SeaDrill extended gains and soared 60% on its refinancing plans.
Stock markets in Europe fell Monday on weakening German manufacturing data, interest rate jitters ahead of the European Central Bank’s meeting, and a sharp stock price decline in French utility EDF.
Investors remained cautious ahead of the highly anticipated ECB meeting on Thursday. The bank is expected to cut the deposit rate to 0.4% and adopt policy that stimulates growth and inflation.
However, a further drop in the deposit rate may negatively impact banking profits. Bank shares across Europe traded lower - Societe Generale and Deutsche Bank fell 1.7%, Credit Agricole slumped 2.1%, and Mediobanca Banca di Credito Finanziario shed 2.8%.
In France, Électricité de France S.A. slumped 6.7% after the CFO resigned and raised concerns over the financial stability of the company.
In Germany, manufacturing orders fell 0.1% in January from the previous month, less than the expected decline of 0.4%. Still, the data indicates a slowdown in the largest European economy.
In the U.K, mining shares continued their run up on improving metal prices. Glencore surged 6.7%, Anglo-American advanced 6.1%, and BHP Billiton gained 3.46%.
Randgold Resources, however, fell 3.7% on profit taking as the gold explorer surged more than 50% in the year so far.
The FTSE 100 index dropped 22.44, or 0.36%, to 6,176.99, while the DAX index declined 56.67, or 0.58%, to 9,767.50.
In Paris, the CAC 40 index fell 20.90, or 0.47 %, to 4,435.72.
Électricité de France S.A
shed 6.7% to €10.12 after Chief Finance Officer of the French utility resigned.
While the company didn’t provide an explanations but traders worried that the financial viability concerns for the $25 billion project for new nuclear reactors in the U.K. may have impacted the decision.
Old Mutual Plc
climbed 6.9% to 190.10 pence after the financial services company said it was making a strategic review and considering options.
extended its unprecedented run and extended gains to 60.3% to 46.8 Norwegian kroner, after surging more than 30% on Friday.
The Norwegian offshore oil drilling company has succeeded in its plans to refinance its $10 billion debt during the second quarter and short sellers are buying back, according to the CEO of the company.