European stocks retreat on top investor`s warning
London: European stocks fell Tuesday after a late sell-off on Wall Street that was triggered by investment titan Carl Icahn`s warning that equities were heading for a big drop, analysts said.
Share prices largely turned lower also as the OECD said that while growth in advanced economies would pick up speed this year and next, it would do so mostly at a slower pace than forecast as new risks loom, especially from emerging economies.
On Tuesday in London midday trade, the FTSE 100 benchmark index slipped 0.48 percent to stand at 6,691.11 points.
Frankfurt`s DAX 30 lost 0.35 percent to 9,193.41 points and in Paris the CAC 40 shed 0.95 percent to 4,279.44 compared with Monday`s closing levels.
"European indices are down across the board on Tuesday... following comments from Carl Icahn yesterday that prompted a little more caution from investors," said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari traders.
"Icahn, a billionaire investor whose opinion is well respected in the industry, claimed that he has become more cautious on the stock market and believes it could be facing a big drop."
In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Monday up 0.09 percent at 15,976.02 points, another all-time high for a fourth successive session.
However, it suffered a late sell-off after breaking the 16,000 barrier for the first time, with traders spooked after Icahn`s comments.
The OECD meanwhile, a 34-nation policy forum for developed democracies, has revised its forecasts for global growth of gross domestic product down by nearly half a percentage point both this year, to 2.7 percent, and next, to 3.6 percent.
Japan and the eurozone will do slightly better than expected in both years as austerity policies retreat, monetary stimulus is maintained and financial conditions improve, the OECD said.
But the US economy will grow less quickly than forecast, with the OECD pointing to political dysfunction in Washington and the eventual tapering of monetary stimulus as factors that could hamper recovery.
On an upbeat note, investment sentiment in Germany rose in November to its highest level in four years, suggesting that the eurozone`s economic recovery is on track, a new survey found.
The widely watched investor confidence index calculated by the ZEW economic institute gained 1.8 points to 54.6 points in November, its highest level since October 2009.
"For months now, economic expectations in Germany have been at a high level. The slight improvement in the eurozone economy will have contributed to this," said ZEW president Clemens Fuest.
In foreign exchange on Tuesday, the European single currency fell to $1.3498 from $1.3507 late in New York on Monday.
The euro edged up to 83.87 pence against the British pound, which was lower at $1.6097.
The dollar fell to 99.83 yen from 100 yen on Monday.
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold dropped to $1,274.70 an ounce from $1,283.50 on Monday.Easyjet managed to fly above the dark clouds, with its share price surging 6.45 percent to 1,337 pence on news of soaring profits.
The British no-frills airline announced a leap in annual earnings as increased demand for its flights across Europe offset higher costs.
Net profit jumped 56 percent to £398 million ($641 million, 474 million euros) in the year to September 30 compared with the group`s performance in 2011/12, Easyjet said in a results statement.
It added that £308 million would be returned to shareholders via dividend payments.
Asian stock markets mostly closed lower Tuesday on profit-taking, with investors shrugging off another record close for the Dow on Wall Street, while Tokyo softened as the yen strengthened against the dollar, traders said.
US stock exchange operator ICE, which just concluded its acquisition of NYSE-Euronext, meanwhile said Tuesday it will buy the Singapore Mercantile Exchange in an all-cash transaction.
The price of the deal, the second big step by ICE within a week, was not disclosed.
SMX runs futures markets in Singapore in metals, currencies, energy and farm commodities.
ICE, which stands for Intercontinental Exchange Group, has just completed a huge deal to buy the New York Stock Exchange and the European Euronext market in what it presented as a game-changing move to create a global markets giant.