This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

European Stocks, Asian Shares Fall on Iraq Fears

LONDON (The Deal) -- European and Asian stocks declined, as rising tensions in the Middle East as well as Ukraine rattled investors and global indices.

In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.64% at 6,743.83, while in Frankfurt the DAX was 0.43% lower at 9,895.45. In Paris, the CAC 40 shed 0.70% to 4,486.48.

Escalating violence in Iraq -- where insurgents are reportedly tightening their grip in northern and western regions -- weighed on energy-related stocks in London.

London stocks were led lower by Petrofac, a provider of oilfield services to the oil and gas industry, which fell 2.45% to 1,193 pence. Scottish engineering company Weir Group, which makes equipment for the oil and gas industries, fell 1.03% to 2.592 pence.

In Paris, GDF Suez fell 2.4% to 20.31 euros. The government said it sold a 3.1% stake, reducing its holding to 33.6%. According to Bloomberg News, shares were priced at 20.18 euros, the lower end of an indicative range, to raise about 1.5 billion euros.

The proceeds will be used for the government's purchase of a 20% stake in Alstom from Bouygues, clearing the way for General Electric's (GE) 11.4 billion euros ($15.5 billion) purchase of Alstom's energy assets. The French government secured control of the 20% stake over the weekend, but plans to pay for it over the next 20 months at market prices.

Bouygues shares fell 0.97% to 31.09 euros, while Alstom gained 1.25% to 27.12 euros.

In Madrid, shares in Spain's biggest construction company, Actividades de Construccion, fell 2.19% to 33.42 euros, as its holding company, Corporacion Financiera Alba, further whittled down its stake.

On Tuesday, Alba said it had sold a 3.7% stake in ACS for 397.7 million euros, yielding an estimated 191 million euros in gross capital gains. The sale reduces Alba's stake to 11.3%, making it the second largest shareholder after ACS Chairman Florentino Perez Rodriguez, who holds 12.52%.

In a research note Wednesday, analyst Rafael Fernandez de Heredi of BEKA Finance in Madrid said that Alba took advantage of ACS' good performance to obtain cash. He said that it could further reduce its stake, but that the risk to the stake will likely be mitigated with good news related to operating and financial restructuring. He reiterated his 'buy' recommendation on ACS, with a price target of 39.49 euros.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei fell 0.71% to 15,267, while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng fell 0.06% to 22,866.70.

On Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet endorsed a package of economic reforms including corporate-tax cuts and deregulation in the agricultural and medical sectors -- the so-called third arrow of Abe's growth strategy. The government is also reportedly planning to legalize casinos in Japan as part of a plan to boost tourism ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Later Wednesday, investors will be watching for any comments on the Middle East and Ukraine from EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, as well as fresh economic indicators from the U.S., namely a revised estimate of gross domestic product in the first quarter as well as May durable goods orders.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News are expecting a contraction in U.S. GDP of 1.8% in the first quarter, more than the 1% decrease in last month's reading.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,106.70 +29.83 0.17%
S&P 500 2,000.02 +2.10 0.11%
NASDAQ 4,570.6370 +13.29 0.29%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs