Frankfurt: European shares opened lower on Monday amid disappointment over the lack of coordinated action from the weekend G7 meeting, grim economic data from Japan and continued uncertainty about bank rescue plans.
At 08:18am, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 1% at 788.65 points. It fell 3.6% last week.
“There was not much reassurance coming out of G7,” said Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven Investment Management.
German brokerage Close Brothers Seydler said ongoing attempts by many governments “to back the financial sector remain a major topic.”
In financials, Barclays fell 5.6%, Royal Bank of Scotland lost 4.1%, Deutsche Bank dropped 2.8% and UniCredit was down 2.3%.
Carmaker Daimler was another leading loser, down 3.1% after a UBS downgrade to “sell” from “neutral”.
With demand for cars and electronics waning, an unprecedented slump in exports saw Japan’s economy shrink by 3.3% in the fourth quarter, marking three straight quarters of contraction and its worst result since the 1974 oil crisis.
US markets are closed on Monday for a national holiday.