LONDON -- Just how low can European stock markets go? "Even further" is the answer each week, as six-month lows were hit across the continent by Friday.
We may now see the U.K.'s FTSE 100
It's worse everywhere else
The German DAX
Spain, still in the grip of an unfolding banking crisis, saw a huge 7.3% lopped off its IBEX 35
The Athens General Index
We did see some U.K. stocks beating the gloomy trend, with Intercontinental Hotels putting on 6% to 1,410 pence on reports of a possible tie-in with the U.S. Marriott chain on Thursday.
A couple of dividend-paying utility suppliers put on a few percent, too, with Severn Trent gaining 3% to 1,749 pence and United Utilities Group up 2.5% to 660 pence. Hedge fund manager Man Group recovered nearly 3% to 76 pence, to recoup some of its recent losses arising from fears of its flagship fund's underperformance.
Leading the fallers, TV network operator ITV fell by 10% to 76.5 pence after analysts predicted a slump in TV ad sales over the summer. Miners and financials also continued their slide, with falls of up to 9%, but other fallers include building materials supplier CRH, down 7.5% to 1,069 pence, and department store Marks & Spencer, down more than 5% to 329 pence.
Across the union
It's finally dawning on Germany that the eurozone as we know it might just collapse, leading to heavy falls in the financial sector this week, with Deutsche Bank down 7.5% to 27 euros and Allianz falling by the same margin to 70 euros. Industrial group Thyssenkrupp also fell by 9% to 13 euros after a Moody's downgrade, and Daimler was down 6.5% to 35.5 euros.
It was nearly all red in France, too, with L'Air Liquide falling 10% to 85 euros, and recent volatile shares like Alcatel Lucent moving down, by 8% to 1.2 euros.
When will this bear market come to an end? Nobody can say, but we're going to need the huge uncertainty surrounding the euro to be at least partially cleared, that's for sure.
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