Europe Shares Struggle, Overshadowed by Greek Worries

Big 5

European stock markets struggled to find footing on Thursday, with wireless and bank sectors driving losses, as persistent worries about Greece overshadowed hopes of further monetary-easing measures by the Federal Reserve and upbeat Japan growth data.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index (XX:SXXP) -0.41% fell 0.3% to 243.67. Trading volumes may be lighter. Germany will observe a public holiday, though markets are open, while Swiss and most Nordic markets are closed for a holiday.

Stoxx and FTSE 100 index (UK:UKX) -0.49% heavyweight Vodafone Group PLC VOD -1.98% (UK:VOD) -1.46% fell 1.3%. The FTSE fell 0.4% to 5,386.43, largely as a result of Vodafone.

Banks were also giving up some ground, with ING Groep NV ING 0.00% (NL:INGA) -1.24% down 1.1% and Barclays PLC (UK:BARC) -1.38% BCS +0.93% off 1.3%.

“With positive comment from the Federal Reserve overnight about further easing if required, plus Japan’s first-quarter GDP coming in at 4.1%, the performance of equities offered some hope to Europe,” said David Buik, markets commentator at BGC Partners, in e-mailed comments.

“But Greece came and took the wind out of its sails yet again and will continue to do so until attempts are made to crystallize the problems and deal with them,” said Buik.

The French CAC 40 index (FR:PX1) -0.60% dropped 0.3% to 3,038.43, with shares of BNP Paribas SA (FR:BNP) -1.45% losing 1% and Vivendi SA (FR:EDF) -1.43% down 1.3%.

The German DAX 30 index (DX:DAX) -0.36% slipped 0.1% to 6,375.77, with HeidelbergCement AG (DE:HEI) +2.57% fell 1.5% and Metro AG (DE:MEO) -0.20% slipped 1.4%.

News has been reported by Market Watch.