European shares up after 4-day loss, banks gain

European shares up after 4-day loss, banks gain

London: European shares bounced back in morning trade on Monday, snapping a four-session losing run, with financials featuring among the gainers as the G-20 countries agreed to allow more time for banks to adopt new capital rules.

At 0900 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.9% at 1,022.84 points after falling 0.7% in the previous session.

Banks were among the top risers, with Barclays, Lloyds and BNP Paribas gaining 1.1% to 1.7%.

But Standard Chartered fell 1.2% after it said recent economic uncertainty had hurt business, taking the shine off a strong first-half performance as its key Asian markets fared better than the west and it grabbed market share.

Analysts said the stock market was expected to remain volatile and investors were extremely cautious in trading.

“We are in a holding pattern. The market certainly waits to see what impact does fiscal tightening have on the economy. People are definitely cautious," said Peter Dixon, economist at Commerzbank.

“We are not out of the woods on this," he said, referring to the conclusions of the weekend meeting of G-20 leaders in Toronto.

“There is still some possibility that further down the line we are going to come up with much more stringent rules, such as the absolute size of the banks, which will put a brake on the ability of bigger banks to leverage their balance sheets the way they have done."

G-20 countries agreed on Sunday to take different paths for cutting budget deficits and making their banking systems safer, a reflection of the uneven and fragile economic recovery in many countries.

In a reversal from the unity of the past three crisis-era Group of 20 summits, the leaders left room to move at their own pace and adopt “differentiated and tailored" policies.

“There are some legitimate doubts. Government finances in most of the mature economies are really in trouble, so we have to do something about that. But it will probably pressure growth," said Luc Van Hecka, chief economist at KBC Securities.

Commodities up

Energy shares also advanced after losses in the recent sessions as crude oil touched its highest in almost eight weeks, trading near $79 a barrel as tropical storm Alex forced Mexico to slow oil exports and some offshore US producers to evacuate platforms and curb output.

BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Tullow Oil, Repsol and StatoilHydro rose 0.8% to 4%.

Miners were also in demand as gold prices edged higher to trade near last week’s record highs. BHP Billiton, Anglo American, Antofagasta, Rio Tinto, Xstrata and Eurasian Natural Resources gained 1.4% to 2.5%.

Shares in German chipmaker Infineon were up 3.6%. Financial Times Deutschland newspaper reported that the Russian government was urging Germany to let holding company Sistema take a 29% stake.

Across Europe, the FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.6% to 1.1%. The Thomson Reuters Peripheral Eurozone Countries Index was up 0.8%.