The Deal: European, Asian Stocks Track Lower

LONDON ( The Deal) -- European and Asian equity markets tracked down Friday, Oct. 4, as the continued standoff in Congress over the U.S. budget brought the prospect of a devastating default closer.

In Switzerland, markets regulator Finma said it is investigating several, unnamed institutions over the potential manipulation of foreign exchange rates, raising the specter of more fines and more scandals in the banking sector.

By mid-morning in Europe the DAX index of Germany's leading 30 stocks was down 0.21% at 8,580.05 and the FTSE 100 in the U.K. slipped 0.2% to 6,436.35. Barclays ( BCS) shares held relatively firm at 271.75 pence as it announced a 95% take-up for a 6 billion pound ($9.7 billion) rights issue that it conducted to shore up capital to meet a 3% leverage target recently imposed on the bank by the U.K.'s Prudential Regulation Authority.

Meanwhile, a shock profit warning from Carpetright, the U.K.'s leading carpet retailer, and news of the exit of the group's CEO, pushed its shares down more than 10% to 603 pence. Volatile trading in the U.K. and difficulties in the Netherlands prompted the company to warn that full-year profit will be significantly below last year's level. The news raises questions about the extent to which the U.K.'s housing market boom and consumer recovery will bolster sellers of "big-ticket" household items.

Industrial producer prices in the eurozone slipped 0.8% year-on-year in August, a slightly worse outcome than most forecasts, while prices in the wider European Union edged up 0.3%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed down 0.94% at 14,024.31. The Bank of Japan decided against pumping additional monetary support into the economy, which it stated is in the throes of a modest recovery. Tokyo-based Digital Garage slumped more than 10% to 2,817 yen ($28.99) after Twitter's IPO documentation failed to mention the company, which has backed Twitter in the past, as a shareholder.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed down 0.33% to 23,138.54.

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