Europe shares slip; end below 1,000 on German move

LONDON, May 19 (BestGrowthStock) – European stocks hit their lowest
closing level in nearly two weeks on Wednesday, dragged down by
banking shares, as investors became jittery following Germany’s
move to ban naked short sales of a range of financial assets.

The FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top European shares
provisionally ended 2.9 percent lower at 996.73 points. It fell
below 1,000 for the first time since a 750 billion euro ($930
billion) package aimed at preventing the Greek debt crisis from
spreading was unveiled this month.

Financial stocks were among the top losers, with the STOXX
Europe 600 banking index (.SX7P: ) falling 3.6 percent. Barclays
(BARC.L: ), Lloyds (LLOY.L: ), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: ), BNP
Paribas (BNPP.PA: ), Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: ), Credit Agricole
(CAGR.PA: ) and Natixis (CNAT.PA: ) fell 3 to 5.2 percent.

“The markets never like governments interfering in what they
regard as the efficient running of markets. Ban on short selling
tends to have the adverse effects of sending traders looking for
other methods of shorting the market,” said Bill McNamara,
analyst at Charles Stanley in Sweden.

“It just doesn’t settle the nerves in the way politicians
seem to think it will. Investors should continue to expect high
levels of volatility.”

In a surprise move late on Tuesday, Germany banned against
bets on bonds, stocks and credit protection in a tentative crack
down on speculative trading, which has been widely blamed by
leaders for exacerbating the euro zone debt crisis.

Stock Report

(Reporting by Atul Prakash)

Europe shares slip; end below 1,000 on German move