Sunday, November 1, 2009

Europe witnesses its biggest market share drop

European shares sharply fell on Friday, with a key index recording its biggest monthly decline in eight months, as financial stocks lost heavily on mixed U.S. economic data a day after better-than-expected GDP numbers.


The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top shares provisionally closed down 2.3 percent at 974.45 points.

The index, which is up more than 51 percent from its lifetime low in early March, fell 2.3 percent in October. The index had gained in the previous three months.

"I think today a lot of people are settling up positions for the end of the month. A lot of people are using yesterday's gains as an opportunity to close out profits at a higher level," said Joshua Raymond, market strategist at City Index.

The market was knocked after U.S. consumer sentiment slipped this month, though business activity in the U.S. Midwest expanded in October to the highest level since September 2008.

Banks retreated from earlier gains and took the most points off the index. Banco Santander (SAN.MC), BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) were down 3.4 to 4.5 percent.

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(Reporting by Joanne Frearson, editing by Atul Prakash for REUTERS
Picture source: Reuters

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