- Italy's Bersani threatens new elections
- Chinese data weighs on basic resource sector
- Spanish and Italian bonds diverge slightly
FTSE Mibtel 30: -0.54%
Ibex 35: 0.64%
Stoxx 600: -0.17%
European stocks have recovered slightly as the start of US trading has approached.
That came after earlier falls as investors reacted to the weak economic statistics out overnight in China. The official service sector purchasing manager's index for the month of February slid to a reading of 54.5 points, from 56.2 in the month before. As well, authorities in Beijing announced new measures to cool property prices.
Furthermore, market participants were waiting on the results of tonight's meeting of Eurozone finance ministers. The assembled ministers are expected to decide on whether or not to grant financial aid to Cyprus. As well, various periphery countries, such as Portugal and Spain, are asking for their adjustment programmes to be made more flexible.
That came on the heels of comments to Spanish daily El Pais from the Chief Economist of Germany's IFO institute, Hans Werner Sinn, regarding the possibility that Greece and Portugal may be forced to leave the single currency area.
Also to be had in account, and as regards Cyprus, over the weekend European Commissioner Olli Rehn argued in Der Spiegel against a 'bail-in' of Cypriot banks.
Lastly, the leader of Italy's Socialists has raised the spectre of new elections unless his main political rivals act responsibly, Sky24TG reports.
Repsol sells stake
Repsol has sold a 5% stake to Singapore's state holding company Temasek.
Shares of sea freight forwarder Kuehne&Nagel are falling sharply after the company reported lower than expected full-year profits.
French markets regulator AMF is proposing to toughen the rules for those companies wishing to carry out hostile takeovers, according to business daily Les Echos.
From a sector stand-point the worst performance on the DJ Stoxx 600 is now to be seen in the following industrial groups: Basic resources (-2.07%), Banks (-0.93%) and Automobiles (-0.53%).
Spanish unemployment rose by less than forecast
Eurozone prices increased by 0.6% month-on-month in January (Consensus: 0.5%).
Spanish unemployment worsened by 59.400 in February, well below the 132,100 rise seen last month and the 75,000 gain expected by economists.
The Sentix index of Eurozone investor confidence fell to -10.6 points in March from -3.9 in the month before (Consensus: -4.3).
Euro teetering on 1.30 level
The euro/dollar is now basically flat, down by 0.02%, to the 1.3020 dollar
Front month Brent crude futures are now edging higher by 0.298 dollars to the 110.74 dollar per barrel level on the ICE.