04 May 2012, 21:20
European stocks fall before election weekend, jobs data
LONDON. May 4. KAZINFORM European stocks dropped as investors awaited today's American payrolls report and elections in France, Greece, Italy and Germany this weekend. Asian shares retreated while U.S. index futures fluctuated.
Wacker Chemie AG, the world's second-biggest maker of solar-grade silicon, slumped 5.6 percent after net income dropped. Royal DSM NA, the largest maker of vitamins, declined 2 percent after Bank of America Corp. downgraded the shares. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Rio Tinto Group led mining companies lower, Bloomberg reports.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 0.2 percent to 256.91 at 12:05 p.m. in London, having earlier lost as much as 1 percent. The gauge has dropped 0.9 percent this week, trimming its 2012 advance to 5.1 percent, as Spain entered a recession and reports on U.S. business activity and services-industry growth trailed forecasts. Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 0.2 percent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.4 percent.
"Elections in Europe will not bring support to the markets in our view as their outcomes will probably carry more uncertainty," said Jean-Paul Jeckelmann, chief investment officer at Banque Bonhote & Cie. in Neuchatel, Switzerland. "The news flow in Europe has been poor in the last few weeks. That gives market participants the opportunity to take some chips from the table and stay on the sidelines until we get a clearer view on what's really going on."
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