23 Jun 2009

European shares hit 5-week closing low

7:41 am on 23 June 2009

European shares hit a five-week closing low on Monday after crude oil and metals prices weakened and a World Bank report was issued on the state of the global economy.

The World Bank warned that prospects for the global economy remained "unusually uncertain" and cut its 2009 growth forecasts for most economies.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 2.8% lower at 837.22 points - the lowest closing level since mid-May.

Energy stocks were down as oil prices fell about 4%. BP, Royal Dutch Shell, BG Group, Tullow Oil, Repsol, Total and StatoilHydro shed 3.2% - 7.8%.

Miners lost ground as copper prices fell 3.8%, aluminium slipped more than 5% and nickel declined by 3.3%.

Banking stocks also fell: Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Societe Generale, Natixis and Commerzbank fell by 3.4% - 7.6%.

In Frankfurt, the DAX index ended at 4,693.4 points, down 146.06 or 3.02%.

In Paris, the CAC-40 index closed at 3,123.25 points, down 98.02 or 3.04%. The Swiss market index closed at 5,310.37 points, down 111.22 or 2.05%.

In London, the FTSE 100 closed down 111.88 points, 2.57%, at 4,234.05.

Other markets

In Japan, the Nikkei index rose 40.01 points, 0.41%, to 9,826.27.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index rose 138.62, 0.77%, to 18,059.55.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 18.6 points to 3,918.2, adding to a 0.2% gain on Friday. The All Ordinaries index gained 16.4 points, or 0.42%, to 3,910.8 points.

In New Zealand, the NZX50 index rose 10 points, or 0.4%, to close at 2795 on turnover of $62 million.