European stocks headed lower Monday, of which bank stocks were the worst performers, with shares of HSBC Holding PLC slip after its results report.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 0.2% to 283.49 in morning trading. Fears on unrest in North America and the Middle East drove the index shed 2.4% last week. The FTSE 100 index fell 0.5% to 5,972.10. The CAC 40 index was down 0.4% to 4,055.66. The German DAX 30 index lost 0.4% to 7,159.53.
Bank stocks led the decliners. Shares of Deutsche Bank AG shed 1.9%. Shares of HSBC dropped 3.5% despite its report of profit topping $ 13 bln. The banking giant’s 2010 net profit jumped to $ 13.16 billion from $ 5.83 billion one year ago. Pretax profit jumped to $ 19.04 billion from $ 7.08 billion thanks to decline in loan impairment charges. However, the results still missed analysts’ expectations of $ 14.02 billion net profit. The bank says that it will pay a dividend for 4Q of 12 cents a share.
Associated British Foods PLC lost more than 4%. The retailer said that interim results for the period ended March 5 would meet expectations. Additionally, value-added tax and higher raw-material prices will make operating profit for Primark sink.
Pearson PLC’s 2010 net profit increased to $ 2.09 billion. The group raised its dividend payout by 9%. After the earnings report, its shares 1.6% advanced 1.6%.
On Friday, U.S. stocks snapped three consecutive days of losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed out with its biggest weekly point drop while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1.6% to 2,781.05 and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index climbed 1.1% to 1319.88.
U.S. stocks climbed thanks to surges in Intel Corp and Boeing Co shares. Boeing shares advanced 2.2%, followed by a deal valued Boeing at more than $ 30 billion. Intel’s sales were expected to pick up in March.
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