Europe Stumbles

Europe StumblesAfter 3 days of solid gains the European markets finally took a turn for the worse on Wednesday. With Greece being downgraded and Netherlands based ING taking a hit due to its activities in Spain, investors began to tread a little more cautiously. Many began taking their profits from the last few days and decreasing activity while they wait for the seemingly inevitable clawback to pass over.

The European index, Stoxx Europe 600, fell by 0.23% early on in the day after traders optimism for the European Central Bank to provide an answer to the debt crisis once again began to diminish.

Standard Chartered Bounces Back
Standard Chartered began its fight back against claims of corruption and “Rogue Trading” by New York regulators with gains of 7%, offsetting some of yesterday’s loss of 16%. The British based banker had been accused of laundering around £160 billion to various states that had been blacklisted by the U.S including Iran, Sudan and Burma. Standard “Strongly Rejects” any claims of wrongdoing, insisting the full story has not been presen

Energy Stocks still Up Week on Week
Oil continued to rise, causing yet more concern for near-term business profits and economic growth. British Gas, however, saw their stocks fall by 1.36% by mid afternoon – losing some of the weeks earlier gains. The most positive news to come out of London for a few days was the 3% rise of Rio Tinto PLC. The rise shocked many as they had recently announced a 22% drop in quarterly profits.

Indices Falter
The German index, DAX 30, stumbled by 0.2%. Lufthansa AG saw their cabin-crew’s union vote for a strike, which cause a drop in stock price of 2.6%. Negotiations are set to continue next week. The financial industry was of course not without its own troubles, as Deutsche Bank AG well 1.5% and Allianza SE also down 1%, which it later clawed back – leaving it up 0.1% by mid afternoon.

The French CAC 40 was also down by 0.4% despite gains of 2.9% by Peugeot and Total’s 2.60% rise. Credit Agricole was down 2.1%.