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.

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