European stocks dropped to their lowest levels for three months on the back of slower than anticipated growth in the eurozone economy and fresh fears of a Greek default.
The eurozone economy grew by just 1.4% in 2011, below initial expectations, and slow enough to qualify the region for what Europe called a “mild recession”.
Eurostat had anticipated growth of 1.5% last year, following on from a 1.9% rise in 2010.
The first quarter of this year is likely to show a further contraction in the region’s economy.
The equity markets were hit yesterday — the Euro Stoxx 50 down by over 3.4% — also by the latest concerns emanating from Greece.
London’s FTSE 100 fell by 1.86%, yesterday, far less in percentage terms than its leading European counterparts — both Paris’ CAC-40 and Frankfurt’s DAX down by between 3% and 4%.
In Dublin, the ISEQ dipped by just under 100 points, or by nearly 3%. There were notable falls for the likes of Smurfit Kappa Group, Grafton, &&United Drug and DCC.
The main Wall Street markets were all down by over 1%. Tokyo’s Nikkei and the Hang Seng, in Hong Kong, had previously closed by 0.6% and 2.16% respectively.
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