April 19, 2010 / 12:03 PM / 9 years ago

Banks, volcano woes drag down European shares

* FTSEurofirst 300 index down 1 percent

* Banks fall on Goldman concerns; await Citigroup

* Energy, food producers, airlines down on volcano fallout

* For up-to-the minute market news, click on [STXNEWS/EU]

By Joanne Frearson

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Monday, led by banks as Friday’s fraud charges against Goldman Sachs (GS.N) rattled investors, while energy, food groups and airline stocks slipped on disruptions caused by the Icelandic volcano.

By 1119 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top shares was down 1 percent at 1,084.02 points. The index, which gained nearly 26 percent in 2009, is only up 3.7 percent this year.

The STOXX Europe 600 bank sector .SX7P slipped 1.5 percent following a 2.7 percent fall on Friday after Goldman Sachs was charged with fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Goldman has denied the charges.

UBS UBSN.VX, Credit Suisse CSGN.VX, Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) fell 1.5 to 2.9 percent.

“It is (because of) Goldman Sachs and a reflection on the developments from Friday and a good excuse for another day of profit taking,” said Jim Wood-Smith, head of research at Williams de Broe.

Investors were also awaiting results from Citigroup (C.N) which is set to post earnings before Wall Street opens.

Greek bank shares .FTATBNK fell 2.8 percent on worries over the impact of widening yield spreads and austerity measures on the weakening economy.

Energy stocks were under pressure, with crude CLc1 hitting a three-week low to fall below $82 a barrel as European flights remained disrupted due to the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano, curbing jet fuel use.

BP (BP.L), BG Group BG.L, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), Total (TOTF.PA) and Cairn Energy (CNE.L) dipped 0.4 to 1 percent.

AIRLINES SLIP

Airlines and travel companies extended their sharp declines from the previous session due to the widespread cancellation of flights in Europe.

British Airways BAY.L, Lufthansa (LHAG.DE), Iberia IBLA.MC, Ryanair (RYA.I), Aer Lingus Group AERL.I, Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) and Finnair (FIA1S.HE) lost 2.7 to 7.7 percent.

TUI Travel TT.L and Thomas Cook (TCG.L) slipped 2.7 to 3.9 percent.

Food producers suffered from the volcano fallout as some of their ingredients and output could not be transported to intended destinations.

Nestle NESN.VX, Parmalat (PLT.MI) and Danisco DCO.CO lost 1.4 to 2.8 percent.

“If the restrictions from the volcano rumble on through the week then there might be more difficulties ahead, with supplies not being able to get through,” said Wood-Smith. “There could be food shortages.”

On the upside, Eurotunnel (GETP.PA) rose 2.7 percent, as travellers sought alternative routes.

Among individual stocks, Dutch Philips Electronics (PHG.AS) gained 2.3 percent after it reported first-quarter operating profit above the most optimistic forecast, driven by its lighting unit and cost cuts. [ID:nLDE63I07O]

BT Group (BT.L) rose 1.4 percent after JPMorgan upgraded the stock to “overweight” from “neutral” and said it sees operational momentum as underappreciated and pension concerns overdone.

Across Europe, the FTSE 100 .FTSE index was down 0.6 percent, Germany's DAX .GDAXI fell 0.4 percent and France's CAC 40 .FCHI slipped 0.6 percent. (Editing by David Holmes)

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