Europe shares to fall as Fed stimulus expectations fade

Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:59am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - European shares were set to inch lower on Monday, with soothing U.S. jobs data on Friday lowering expectations of more stimulus by the country's central bank in a meeting this week and China's trade data seen prompting investors to trim riskier assets.

Figures showed on Saturday China's import growth of 39.6 percent on the year in February was the strongest in a year, well ahead of the 27 percent expected and more than twice the rate of export growth of 18.4 percent. Its quarterly growth is forecast to slow to just over 8 percent in the first quarter from 8.9 percent in the previous quarter.

Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE to open 17 to 18 points lower, or as much as 0.3 percent, Germany's DAX .GDAXI to fall 17 to 23 points, or as much as 0.3 percent, and France's CAC-40 .FCHI to drop about 13 points, or 0.4 percent.

Expectations of further monetary support by the U.S. Federal Reserve at its policy meeting on March 13 diminished after data showed U.S. employers added more than 200,000 workers for a third straight month in February, while 61,000 more jobs were created in December and January than previously thought.

Resource-related stocks might come under pressure as oil and metals prices fell on demand concerns. Brent crude fell 0.5 percent, while key base metals prices fell 0.3 to 0.7 percent.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 index of top European shares closed 0.4 percent higher at 1,079.37 points on Friday, while Japan's Nikkei average .N225 fell 0.4 percent on Monday.



S&P 500 .SPX 1,370.87 0.36 % 4.96   Continued...

A man walks past the London Stock Exchange in the City of London October 27, 2008. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico