European shares hit their lowest close in a fortnight Monday with investors continuing to shoulder concerns about the continent's low growth and eurozone debt crisis. Meanwhile, some banks were impacted by a US lawsuit over toxic mortgage debt.
REUTERS - European shares fell to their lowest close in more than two weeks on Monday amid persistent growth and euro zone debt concerns, with some banks also hit by a U.S. lawsuit connected to the packaging of toxic mortgage debt.
The STOXX Europe 600 Banks index fell 5.5 percent and hit a 29-month low. Deutsche Bank fell 8.3 percent, extending a decline from Friday.
“We don’t know what size the claims are - in the absence of certainty, people sell first and ask questions later,” said Ian King, head of international equities at Legal & General, which has $573.2 billion under management.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares fell 3.8 percent to end the session unofficially at 912.29 points, the lowest close since Aug. 19.
Although equity valuations looked low, a combination of factors, including the euro zone debt crisis, meant investors were avoiding risk, King said. “People are pricing in the risk of European meltdown, rather than the likely outcome.” ($1 = 0.621 British Pounds)
Date created : 2011-09-05