ADR REPORT-Foreign shares tick lower on Europe concerns

Wed Feb 6, 2013 12:42pm EST
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By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK Feb 6 (Reuters) - U.S.-listed shares of foreign companies fell on Wednesday, as investors continued to worry about political tensions in Europe.

While global stocks have been strong performers recently, they slumped earlier this week on signs the euro zone's debt crisis may return to the forefront.

On Wednesday, France and Germany showed signs of disagreement over the euro exchange rate, whose recent strength threatens corporate profits and a nascent economic recovery in the region.

France said it would raise concerns about the euro at a finance ministers' meeting next Monday, but expectations of any action cooled after the spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the currency is not overvalued.

The apparent disagreement added to concerns about the region's stability, following uncertainty over the outcome of elections in Italy and a corruption scandal in Spain.

The BNY Mellon index of leading European ADRs fell 0.3 percent, outpacing the 0.2 percent drop in the broader BNY Mellon index of leading American depositary receipts, which was down 0.2 percent. The S&P 500 was flat, rising less than 0.1 percent.

European banks were among the hardest hit by concerns over instability in the region. Deutsche Bank fell 1.5 percent to $50.38 while Governor and Company of The Bank of Ireland was off 1.7 percent at $8.34.

The BNY Mellon index of leading Asian ADRs gained 0.3 percent. Shares in Hong Kong rose 0.5 percent, lifted by defensive shares in a sign that investors remain cautious after a recent drop to a one-month low.   Continued...