European Stocks Fall Ahead Of Jackson Hole Meeting

  on August 27 2012 3:46 AM
Traders work at their desks at the Frankfurt stock exchange
Traders concentrate on their screens at the Frankfurt stock exchange February 2, 2012. REUTERS

Most of the European markets fell Monday as investors remained watchful waiting for policymakers around the world to announce stimulus measures to boost the faltering global economy.

The French CAC 40 index dropped 0.36 percent or 12.20 points to 3421.01. Shares of TOTAL SA fell 0.89 percent and those of AXA SA declined 0.65 percent.

The German DAX 30 index fell 0.24 percent or 16.79 points to 6954.28. Shares of Allianz SE dropped 0.42 percent and shares of Linde AG declined 0.28 percent.

Spain's IBEX 35 was marginally down 0.06 percent or 4.60 points to 7305.70. Shares of Bankia SA fell 2.46 percent and those of Telefonica SA dropped 0.83 percent.

London's FTSE 100 index was closed Monday for holiday.

Market players are waiting for U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech at the Fed's Jackson Hole Symposium Friday for further hints of what the Fed might do next. Earlier this month, despite acknowledging the evident slowdown in the U.S. economic growth, the Federal Reserve declined to take any additional action at the conclusion of the two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. However, the Fed offered a hint that it might be prepared to do more at the next meeting in mid-September.

Also market players sense that the policymakers in the euro zone will need to urgently follow their words with action. A re-launch of the European Central Bank's bond-buying program is the absolute minimum to be expected. ECB President Mario Draghi will address at the Jackson Hole Symposium Saturday.

The faltering economic growth is expected to put pressure on the ECB to announce bold stimulus measures to boost the financial condition. It is especially hoped that the central bank will buy sovereign bonds that would reduce the escalating borrowing costs faced by Spain and Italy.

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