- Finance minsters dicuss aid to Cyprus
- Political instability continues to hit Italy and Spain
- France meets opposition over calls to bring down euro
FTSE Mibtel 30: -0.61%
Ibex 35: -1.13%
Stoxx 600: -0.64%
European equities had mostly fallen on Monday as finance chiefs met in Brussels to discuss aid to Cyprus, and political instability continued to plague Italy and Spain.
Finance ministers were tabling various options over handling the Cypriot debt.
Proposals reportedly included radical plans to force losses on uninsured depositors and holders of Cypriot sovereign bonds, according to UK newspaper The Telegraph.
Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker would not confirm that such a plan was on the cards, only promising a decision by March. However, Cyprus' Vassos Shiarly has pledged to stand his ground against any "bail-in" of depositors.
Also hogging Europe's spotlight at the moment is a tightening election contest in Italy. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was leading the polls last week ahead of the February 24-25th elections after promising to cut taxes and end a levy on first homes implemented by Mario Monti's government.
The Eurozone's other troubled economy, Spain, continued to fight corruption allegations. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has denied claims he made secret payments to his Popular Party members.
Opposition over France's call to bring down euro
Officials from Austria, the Netherlands, Finland and Luxembourg have rejected France's calls to bring down the rising euro.
Europe's strong-currency countries said it was up to the markets to set exchange rates
after French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici asked for a coordinated international offensive to adjust currency values.
"An artificial weakening would be inappropriate," Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter told reporters in Brussels Monday.
"We're at a happy medium. The euro has been much stronger and much weaker. From my point of view, the excitement about the exchange rate
The euro has climbed 7.8% over the past six months, outperforming the world's nine other leading currencies, according to Bloomberg's Correlation-Weighted Currency Indexes.
Novo Nordisk falls on FDA decision
Novo Nordisk, the world's largest insulin maker, fell 13% after the US Food and Drug Administration said its Tresiba diabetes medication can't be approved without additional information on heart safety which the Danish drugmaker can't provide this year.
The company's rival, Sanofi, which supplies the diabetes market with its Lantus insulin, climbed 3.4%.
Lundin Petroleum plunged 11.0% after saying it expects resources in its part of the Johan Sverdrup discovery to be within the lower half of the forecast for 800m to 1.8bn barrels of oil equivalent.
PSA Peugeot Citroen jumped 2.5% after the carmaker's finance arm won temporary approval from the European Union to receive a French government guarantee backing the issuance of €1.2bn of new bonds.
The euro/dollar increased 0.37% to $1.3415.
Front month Brent crude futures fell by 0.499 dollars to the 118.310 dollar
mark on the ICE.