LONDON -- European equity indexes have started the week on the back foot today as concerns over the European debt crisis linger ahead of this week's meeting of EU leaders in Brussels. The Italian MIB has been taking the heaviest losses, down around 2.2%, closely followed by the Spanish IBEX, down 1.8%, and OMX Stockholm, down 1.6%.
Also this morning, Spain's Economics Minister, Luis de Guindos, officially asked the country's eurozone partners for assistance to recapitalize the nation's banks. Mr. Guindos said the aim was to agree on terms and conditions for the loan in a memorandum of understanding before the next eurogroup meeting on July 9.
Looking at the markets more broadly, banks are once again leading losses across European bourses after the Bank of International Settlements said yesterday in its annual report that the sector still needs a "healthy push" by central governments to fix balance sheets and abandon risky businesses. That comment came on the back of a weekend report by the JWG think tank suggesting European banks could see costs in excess of 33.3 billion euros to comply with all the new regulatory demands over the next three years.
Italy's Mediobanca (OTC: MDIBY) and UniCredit have been the sector's biggest losers this morning, down around 3.5% each, while Germany's Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB ) saw extra pressure after RBC Capital markets downgraded its outlook for the stock, which is now hovering around 2.5% lower. In France, BNP Paribas is also underperforming the sector, in the red to tune of 1.8%.
Away from the banking sector, Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) is seeing some of the greatest losses this morning, falling more than 6.5% in Helsinki as ongoing fears surrounding the future of the company are made worse by news that rival firm Samsung expects record mobile profits with its Galaxy handset.
In Germany, ThyssenKrupp (OTC: TYKEY) is weighing heavily on the DAX, down 4.5% after JPMorgan Chase downgraded its share-price estimate for the steelmaker. More broadly, the industrial sector is weaker as a whole today, with France's Vallourec one of the worst performers on the CAC-40, down more than 3%.
On a more positive note, European Aeronautic Defense and Space (OTC: EADSY), the parent company of Airbus, has been managing to squeeze higher this morning, up around 2% after the airliner's chief exec, Fabrice Bregier, expressed his confidence that the new A350 wide-body passenger jet wouldn't suffer the same three-year delay as Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.
As always, this morning's European news saw some winners and losers -- and perhaps some European buying opportunities. Indeed, legendary investor Warren Buffett has recently spent more than $1 billion buying the stock of a prominent European large-cap. If you want to know why Buffett has bought into Europe, this special Motley Fool report -- "The One UK Share That Warren Buffett Loves" -- reveals everything, including the price Buffett paid. You can download the report today for free. But hurry -- the report is available for a limited time only.
The Motley Fool is helping Europe invest. Better. And with the eurozone economy so uncertain, we're urging everyone to read "Ten Steps To Making A Million In The Market" -- this report may transform your wealth. Click here now to request your free, no-obligation copy.
Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:
- The One European Share Warren Buffett Loves
- Eight ADRs Held By Britain's Super Investor
- The Market's Top Sectors