The big European exchanges were all down following a continued rout in Asia overnight. Investors in the Far East and India, worried about the effects on emerging markets of a continued taper of the Federal Reserve's bond-buying and worries about China's slowdown. Fears of a disaster waiting to happen in China's shadow banking system, Japan's trade deficit and a host of other factors all dampened the mood, with Japan's Nikkei closing down 2.5% at 15,005.73.
LONDON ( The Deal) -- More gloom and weakness on the world's exchanges could be seen Monday after Friday's global selloff.
By mid-morning, London's FTSE 100 was down over 1.1% at 6586. Telecoms heavyweight Vodafone ( VOD) opened down 6% after U.S. giant AT&T ( T) confirmed to U.K. regulators it won't be making a bid for the British operator for at least the next six months. British Gas was down 14.66%, after it reduced its production guidance for the coming two years. In Milan, Italy, Banco Popolare also plummeted over 16% after announcing a $2 billion capital raising exercise. A number of eurozone banks are expected to follow suit in the coming months to meet regulators' capital requirements, so the market's reaction to the Banco Popolare announcement may not augur well.
Germany's DAX index bounced around a bit this morning, but was still 0.24% below Friday's close, even though not all the news was bad. German specialty chemicals company Lanxess was up 8.0% on news that its CEO Axel Heitmann is stepping down to be replaced by Merck finance director Matthias Zachert. That's a move analysts expect to presage a new strategic direction after a difficult 2013. Germany's most followed confidence benchmark, the Ifo Institute's business confidence index, came in with its highest reading since July 2011.
There was also news this morning that cable billionaire John Malone's Liberty Global ( LBTYA) will buy Dutch cable operator Ziggo for a price valuing the target at 6.9 billion euros (that's over $9.4 billion). Ziggo was down 3.2% at 32 euros, below Malone's 34.53 euros a share offer. Liberty Global already owns about 28% of Ziggo.