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LONDON -- European equity markets are seeing the fourth consecutive day of losses Monday, with fears surrounding economic growth continuing to linger following Friday's lower-than-expected nonfarm payroll numbers. These fears were exacerbated in Asia overnight after Japan announced disappointing factory order numbers, leading Far Eastern shares to point direction when Europe opened.
Meanwhile, Spanish 10-year bond yields have reached almost 7.1% today as concerns surrounding the eurozone sovereign-debt crisis continue to develop. This tops the 7% threshold seen by most analysts as unsustainable -- a level that prompted full bailouts in Ireland, Greece, and Portugal. With this weakness in the peripherals, the Spanish IBEX (INDEX: ^IBEX ) is one of the worst performing indexes today, down 0.5%.
German retailer Metro (NASDAQOTH: MTTRY.PK) is seeing some of the most severe losses in Europe this morning, down 7% and hitting three-year lows after the company's CEO, Olaf Koch, said that constrained spending will have a significant impact on business this year. Koch suggested that the firm, which is the largest retailer in Germany, will see a "small increase at best" in German consumption during 2012.
Vestas Wind Systems (NASDAQOTH: VWDRY.PK) is down just less than 4% in Copenhagen amid speculation that the company may need to issue new shares to help raise finance. This came after a newspaper article quoted an analyst at Danish Financial Group Alm. Brand as saying the company will need to fund its expensive restructuring by selling shares to raise capital.
Elsewhere, the ongoing fears surrounding the eurozone debt crisis are hitting the financial sector in Spain today, with the climbing bond yield representative of fears the country will continue to suffer levels of debt that are unsustainable.
The major Spanish banks are continuing their pattern of trading in line with the broader economic outlook for the country, with today's high 10-year yield once again casting a shadow on the sector. With this, Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN ) is leading losses among the large Spanish names, down around 2.5%.
On the bright side of the market, Portuguese cement maker Cimpor Cimentos de Portugal (NASDAQOTH: CDPGY.PK) is up more than 3% after a company official announced on Friday that shareholders approved a proposal for a 0.166 euro-per-share dividend. The vote was originally delayed from April 20 after Camargo Correa requested it be delayed during its bid for Cimpor.
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 European Share Warren Buffett Loves" -- reveals everything, including the price he paid. You can download the report today for free. But hurry -- the report is available for a limited time only.
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