European Stocks Falling Sharply After Greek Vote; China Stocks Roiling

LONDON (TheDeal) -- Greece and China dominated European market movements Monday morning. European markets opened sharply lower after the Greek people voted by a landslide to reject the austerity measures demanded by their eurozone and International Monetary Fund creditors. French and German leaders will meet later today to discuss the way forward, amid divisions about whether now to press for Greece's exit from the euro. Other eurozone leaders will likely come together tomorrow.

Greece believes the resounding "no" vote will help it in future negotiations and force Europe to take a haircut on its bonds. But just in case, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned, acknowledging that his relations with his European counterparts are now so bad he's seen as an obstacle to agreement. His resignation went some way to soothing the markets, which have since pared back some of their losses.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.59% at 6,546.79, while in Paris the CAC 40 was down 1.32% at 4,744.99. In Frankfurt, the DAX is down 1.09% at 10,937.97. In Greece, the Athens General Index was up a heady 2.03% to 797.52.

It was the opposite pattern in China. Shanghai and Shenzhen indices soared on the open after the Chinese government announced measures at the weekend to try to halt the three-week rout that has left the markets firmly in bear territory. The central bank provided liquidity, banks suspended IPOs and brokers committed to a $19 billion stabilization fund. But that worked only for a few minutes, and the markets were soon sliding back.

Shanghai bounced up again toward the end of the day, as targeted buying of state-backed blue-chip companies by brokers in the stabilization fund pulled the index into positive territory. But in the tech-heavy Shenzhen index the effect was less dramatic. The Shanghai Composite finished the day up 2.4% at 3,775.91, but the Shenzhen Composite was off 2.7% at 2,041.85.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed down 2.08% at 20,112.12. In Hong Kong, which has until now been relatively immune to the recent ups and downs on the Chinese mainland, reality seems to have hit home with a thump. The Hang Seng was down 3.18% at the end of the day's trading at 25,236.28.

Despite the relative calm, European banks were among the big fallers, with Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) down 2.37% at 350.8 pence, the French banks BNP Paribas (BNPQY) and Société Générale  (SCGLY) down 3.4% and 3.2% respectively and Germany's Deutsche Bank (DB) off 2.93%.

But in Germany, banking and postal services group Deutsche Post (DPSGY) was the biggest riser on the Frankfurt exchange, up over 3.4% on news that a long and damaging postal strike has come to an end.

In London, investors punished engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings  (RYCEF) after it issued a profit warning and ended a £1 billion ($1.56 billion) share buy back when it was only half way through. Rolls blamed cutbacks in the offshore oil and gas industry and faster-than-expected declines in orders for its Trent 700 aircraft engine and orders for private jets. Worse, it said improvements to cash flow and returns will come later than previously expected. The share was down 8.93% at 780 pence.

At the smaller end, AIM-listed mobile payment services group Monitise (MONIF) also issued a profit warning. Like Rolls-Royce, Monitise has had a troubled 18 months, but it said the loss would be smaller in the second half of this year. It expects a return to profitability in 2016. The shares were flat at 10.25 pence.

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