The Deal: European Stocks Weak on Continued U.S. Shutdown

LONDON ( The Deal) -- European markets opened weaker Monday as the U.S. shutdown continued to weigh on traders' minds.

There's a growing feeling that the standoff between President Obama and his Republican opponents may not be solved in time to raise the debt ceiling after all. Last week there were still those who said the Treasury will find a way to avoid default, even if the deadline is missed. They're finding it harder to be heard above the noise.

It wasn't just the continental markets that took a hammering. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner saying it's time to "stand and fight" ensured London has also continued its slide. The FTSE 100 dipped below 6400 at one point Monday, and all the other London indices have taken a dive too.

British debate has also focused in part on the impending privatization of the government-owned postal and parcels service Royal Mail, with opposition spokesmen suggesting the government is selling it too cheap. The upper end of the book building range currently values the world's oldest mail service at 3.3 billion pounds, or about $5.3 billion.

In Asia, the weakness of the dollar -- and the consequent strength of the yen -- pushed Tokyo shares down, as investors worried about Japanese exports. The Nikkei 225 closed below the psychologically important 14,000 mark. Shanghai won't reopen until Tuesday after a week-long holiday. Hong Kong closed down in part on worries about local property prices.

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