-Stocks down on end of month book squaring and Eurozone news
-Spanish central government budget deficit falls to 4.39 per cent
-Greece approves privatization law
-Portugal approves 2013 budget
-Eurozone banks tightened lending standards in third quarter -ECB
FTSE Mibtel 30: 0.12%
Ibex 35: 0.11%
Stoxx 600: -0.54%
For the most part the major European equity benchmarks ended the day lower in what some observers seem to be linking to end of month position squaring and somewhat negative news out of the Eurozone this afternoon (in that order).
That after a glitch-free trading session so far Stateside, although the situation in New York seems to still be far from completely normal.
Today´s economic data on both sides of the Atlantic appears to have been decidedly mixed, although it did come alongside some better than expected company results, especially amongst automobile manufacturers.
Acting as a backdrop, following this afternoon´s two and a half hour conference-call between Eurozone finance ministers Germany´s Wolfgang Schaeuble highlighted that public sector debt forgiveness goes against most member countries´ national laws. This is relevant as some observers believe that a Greek debt buy-back alone would not suffice. Hence, it would appear, the markets´ negative reaction.
On a more positive note, Schaeuble did say that "big advances" had been made. As an aside, the FT comments today on how some German MP´s can be heard saying that: "there will be no easy way out for Spain (or others)." That at a moment when Chancellor Schroder seems to have lost her so-called "Chancellor´s majority."
Also of interest, according to the European Central Bank´s (ECB) latest bank lending survey a net 15% of the Eurozone´s banks which took part in the survey tightened their criteria for firms to borrow in the third quarter, up from 10% in the second quarter.
Large rises in airline groups
Deutsche Lufthansa jumped 7% higher after Europe's largest airline reported a 27% increase in third- quarter operating profit to €506m (£408m), far ahead of consensus estimates, as did its close rival Air France.
ArcelorMittal was lower after earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) dropped to $1.34bn (£832m) from $2.41bn a year ago, which was actually what was expected by analysts. The company however slashed its 2013 dividend in a bid to continue cutting its debt.
From a sector stand-point the best performance on the Stoxx 600 was to be seen in the following industrial groups: Insurance (0.51%), Media (0.29%) and Utilities (0.16%).
Eurozone unemployment at new record
Spain´s current account surplus increased to €1.2bn in August, above the previous month´s reading of €0.5bn.
The Eurozone´s unemployment rate rose by a tenth of a percentage point in September, to 11.6%, from a revised 11.5% in the month before (Consensus: 11.5%).
The Eurozone´s consumer price index for the month of October dropped to 2.5% year-on-year from 2.6% in the previous month.
German retail sales grew by 1.5% month-on-month in September (Consensus: 0.3%), versus last month´s reading of 0.3%.
French producer prices increased at a 0.3% month-on-month pace in September (Consensus: 0.2%).
French consumer spending rose by 0.1% month-on-month in September (Consensus: 0.2%), after a fall of 0.8% in August.
Spanish housing permits dropped by 37.2 month-on-month in August, after an increase of 10.6% in July.
Capital flight from Spain slowed down somewhat in August, by -34.7%, to €247.2bn.
Slight rise in crude futures
The euro/dollar is now down by 0.08% to the 1.2957 mark.
Front month Brent crude futures are lower by 0.599 dollars to the 108.43 dollar
level on the ICE.