LONDON (The Deal) -- European and Asian stocks dropped on Monday, as the G-20 group of leading economies meeting in Shanghai disappointed with vague agreements to spur growth and avoid competitive devaluations.
That did nothing to stop the British pound sinking further on fears of a vote to leave the European Union in a referendum in June. The British currency remains below $1.40 at $1.385. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank is under renewed pressure to act as February inflation for the eurozone came in at -0.2%, its first negative reading in four months. Falling energy prices were the main cause.
Across Europe, banking and financial stocks had a bad time, with the London Stock Exchange (LNSTY) itself -- which is merger talks with German rival Deutsche Boerse, down 4.72% at 2,684 pence and Standard Chartered Bank (SCBFF) down 4.42% at 411.0 pence. In Paris, BNP Paribas was down 1.08% at €41.99 and in Germany Deutsche Bank (DB) - Get Report was down 1.93% at €15.54. Britain's Barclays BCS, which is expected to announce plans to dispose of its legacy African operations when it reports results Tuesday, was down 0.38% at 168.54.
In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.65% at 6,056.27, while in Frankfurt, the DAX was off 1.68% at 9,353.65. In Paris, the CAC 40 slipped 0.72% to 4,283.35.
Ahead of the open, S&P 500 futures were 0.44% at 1,934.25.
In London, Britain's No. 4 grocer WM Morrison Supermarkets (MRWSY) was up nearly 4% at 195.3 pence after announcing a deal with Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report to make its products available through Amazon Prime and the food service Amazon Pantry. That's a huge boost to Amazon Pantry which will now be able to send fresh and frozen products instead of just packaged food. At the same time, Morrison's said it is in talks with its current home delivery partner Ocado Group. But Ocado's share nonetheless plummeted on the news of the deal with Amazon, falling over 7.6% to 260.40.
Sports Direct International (SDISY) , the pile-'em-high and sell-'em-cheap sports clothing retailer, slid on fears the business will be pushed out of the FTSE 100 when the index of the top companies is updated later this week. The company is reportedly under pressure from shareholders to shake up its board and replace its Chairman Keith Hellawell. Executive Deputy Chairman Mike Ashley owns 55% of the company, which has lost half its value since its peak last August and now has a market cap of under £2.4 billion ($3.3 billion). Sports Direct was down 1.23% at 392.5 pence.
Bunzl (BZLFY) , the international distribution and outsourcing Group, fell 0.5%, to 1,925 pence, despite reporting increased profits and revenues as it continued an acquisition spree in emerging markets. While global profits were strong, emerging markets, especially Brazil caused a dent in the results. Nonetheless, Bunzl announced the completion of two acquisition in Brazil -- the dental supplies business Dental Sorria Ltda., and Earthwise Bags - which supplies reusable bags to the U.S. retail sector. It also announced an n agreement to buy Turkish packaging and foodvservice supplies group Bursa Pazari Insaat Sanayi ve Ticaret.
Newspaper group Trinity Mirror reported a 17.6% fall in pre-tax profit to £67.2 million and warned that print markets were expected to remain difficult in 2016. But on the day it launched a new standalone national newspaper the New Day - the first in three decades - it experienced a cheering 4.4% boost to its share price to 159.5 pence.
In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei closed down 1% at 16,026.76, while the TOPIX index finished the day off 1.02% at 1,297.85. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was off 1.30% at 19,111.93 while in mainland China the combined Shanghai and Shenzhen CSI 300 closed the day down 2.39%.