9-9-13 12:02 PM EDT | Email Article
 

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch

 

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- European stock markets dropped on Monday as uncertainty about whether the U.S. will launch a military strike against Syria weighed on sentiment.

 

The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.1% to close at 305.84, breaking a three-session winning streak.

 

"We saw a reasonable start today on the back of some decent economic data from China and strong Japanese share prices after Tokyo was named Olympic city, but unfortunately we've moved back on the twin concerns of Syria and U.S. tapering of QE [quantitative easing]," said Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown.

 

"The script hasn't particularly changed from last week and in the absence of any concrete resolutions of those two concerns, markets are likely to stay volatile," he added.

 

Among notable movers in the pan-European index, shares of BG Group PLC slumped 5.1% after the energy firm warned production will fall below previous expectations in 2014 due to unrest in Egypt, a production delay in Norway and lower volumes from the U.S.

 

Other energy firms were also on the decline, tracking oil prices lower. Shares of Total SA (TOT) fell 0.6% in Paris and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB) dropped 0.8% in London.

 

Syria tensions

 

Investors tracked developments in the Syria conflict as U.S. President Barack Obama tried to gain support for a retaliatory strike against Syrian government targets. The calls for action come after the U.S. said it has evidence Syria's government used chemical weapons against civilians.

 

Obama has scheduled interviews with all major U.S. television networks for broadcast later Monday, a day ahead of his scheduled speech to the nation, in an attempt to build wider support for an intervention.

 

Across the Atlantic, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry continued the White House's push to build European support, stressing the moral case for a strike at a press conference with U.K. foreign minister William Hague.

 

U.S. monetary policy also remained a concern for investors amid continued uncertainty about when the Federal Reserve will start tapering its $85-billion-a-month asset purchases.

 

After some upbeat data releases lately, investors started speculating a reduction could come as soon as the September meeting, but a lackluster jobs report last Friday raised doubts about the tapering timetable.

 

"September still seems to be the favorite month for tapering at the moment, but the nonfarm report did put a question mark over that. It's an element of uncertainty and now we have conflicting data from the U.S. along with the geopolitical uncertainty and that's not something investors are happy about," Hunter from Hargreaves Lansdown said.

 

U.S. stocks traded higher on Wall Street.

 

Europe movers

 

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index slipped 0.3% to 6,530.74, while France's CAC 40 index dropped 0.2% to 4,040.33.

 

Germany's DAX 30 index (DX) closed marginally higher at 8,276.32. Utility firms dropped in Frankfurt after analysts at HSBC said the harsh environment for the industry in Germany is likely to persist. The bank cut the price targets on both RWE AG and E.ON SE and reiterated the underweight rating on the two firms. Additionally, Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded E.ON to underperform from neutral. Shares of RWE lost 1.6% and E.ON fell 1.7%.

 

Shares of Danone SA fell 1.6% in Paris after Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the food-products firm to neutral from outperform.

 

On a more upbeat note, London's mining firms posted gains after upbeat Chinese data. Trade figures over the weekend showed a pickup in exports in August, providing further evidence that the world's second-largest economy is recovering from a slowdown earlier in the year. In addition, data on Monday showed inflation remained subdued, with the consumer price index rising 2.6% year on year in August.

 

Shares of Glencore Xstrata PLC (GLCNF) added 0.9% and Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) picked up 1.1%.

-Sara Sjolin; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

 

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

09-09-13 1202ET

Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Copyright 2014 MarketWatch
Add a Comment

News   More...

Start Premium Trial Register For Free

P F Fund Financial Data (13,000+ funds)
P F Stock Financial Data (7,000+ stocks)
P F Stock and Fund Screeners (basic)
P F Investing Articles and Market Commentary
P F Articles Archive (>30 days)
P F Discuss (dozens of stock, fund, bond, and general bulletin boards)
P F Portfolio Manager (basic)
P F Morningstar Investment Classroom
P F Access Your Portfolio Anytime, Anywhere via Your Mobile Device
P   Morningstar Fund Analyst Reports (full research on 1,700 funds, ETFs, and CEFs)
P   Morningstar Stock Analyst Reports (full research on more than 1,100 stocks)
P   Portfolio Manager (advanced with 10 X-Ray analyses, including recommendations)
P   Portfolio Monitor (monthly and on-demand personalized portfolio statements)
P   Morningstar Proprietary Stock Information (stock star ratings, buy/sell prices, economic moat ratings, and more)
P   Morningstar 5-Star Stock and Fund Favorites & Red Flags eNewsletters
P   Premium Stock and Fund Screeners (advanced with nearly infinite ways to find the best securities for you)
P   Discounts on Morningstar newsletters, books, seminars, and more

Sign-up to Morningstar


Basic Access

Articles and Videos
Morningstar video reports, articles, data, and tools. Dig into our lineup of e-newsletters and investing classroom courses outlining sensible strategies for maximizing your investments.
Morningstar Discuss
Follow the buzz on individual stocks or fund families. Plus, read the latest posts from Morningstar members and analysts.
Portfolio Manager
Track your investments and watch lists with our Portfolio Manager. Customize your view with our comprehensive stock, fund, and ETF data.

Access these features and more when you sign up for Free Membership.
Join Morningstar today. It's Free.

Unlimited Access

Analyst Research
Gather in-depth, actionable insight on over 3,700 stock and mutual funds covered by Morningstar analysts. View our mutual fund Analyst Reports favored by professionals, savvy experienced investors, and new investors researching options for retirement savings, college plans, or other investment needs.
Portfolio X-Ray®
Ensure your portfolio is positioned exactly how you want with Morningstar's X-Ray Interpreter and Stock Intersection tools. A Barron's "Best of the Web" award winner for five years running, X-Ray Interpreter goes under the hood of your portfolio to provide a useful allocation, sector, and geographic analysis. And you can discover how much of a stock you really own, individually and through mutual funds, with Stock Intersection.
Investment Picks
Find new 5-star stocks (greatly undervalued companies) to consider daily. Our 5-star stock rating is a proven winner, consistently beating benchmarks like the S&P 500. Plus, browse our Fund Analyst Picks and Stewardship Grades to find shareholder-friendly mutual funds that are poised for outperformance.
Portfolio Monitor
Get a clear view of your investments with personalized reports about your portfolio. Receive monthly statements and generate reports on-demand to help you stay on track to meet your investment goals.

Access these features and more when you sign up for Premium Membership.
Start your free 14-day trial today online
Your subscription may be tax deductible. Please contact your tax advisor.

Content Partners
Morningstar - 2013/9/9 - UPDATE: European stocks fall amid tensions over Syria
Name |  Ticker |  Star Rating |  Market Cap |  Stock Type |  Sector |  Industry Star Rating |  Investment Style |  Total Assets |  Category |  Top Holdings |  Top Sectors |  Symbol |  Title Star Rating |  Category |  Total Assets |  Top Holdings |  Top Sectors |  Symbol |  Name Topic |  Sector |  Key Indicators |  User Interest |  Market Cap |  Industry Name |  Ticker |  Star Rating |  Market Cap |  Stock Type |  Sector |  Industry Star Rating |  Investment Style |  Total Assets |  Category |  Top Holdings |  Top Sectors |  Symbol / Ticker |  Title Star Rating |  Category |  Total Assets |  Symbol / Ticker |  Name Title |  Date |  Author |  Collection |  Popularity |  Interest Title |  Date |  Company |  Symbol |  Interest |  Popularity Title |  Date |  Company |  Symbol |  Interest |  Popularity Title |  Date |  Author |  Collection |  Interest |  Popularity

Previous: UPDATE: European stocks fall ahead of U.K., U.S. data  |  Next: UPDATE: European stocks fall from five-year high