AFP – Europe’s main stock markets dipped on Tuesday ahead of a key parliamentary vote in Cyprus on a crucial bailout deal that sent global share prices reeling the previous day.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies fell by 0.04 percent to 6,455.87 points, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 shed 0.30 percent to 7,986.34 points and in Paris the CAC 40 lost 0.65 percent to 3,800.78 points.
Elsewhere, Madrid’s IBEX 35 shares index fell 0.59 percent and Milan’s FTSE MIB sank 0.35 percent in value.
Asian equities had mostly rebounded on Tuesday while the yen fell against the dollar and euro as concerns over the eurozone abated on news Cyprus was reworking a controversial savings levy.
Nicosia and its international creditors have gone back to the drawing board following a global outcry and sell-off on stock markets Monday in reaction to the tax proposal that is aimed at qualifying Cyprus for a much-needed bailout.
However, uncertainty crept in during European trading ahead of the crucial vote in crisis-hit Cyprus.
“Cypriot government officials are expected to vote against a levy on bank deposits, later on today, in a move that will create some unease in the markets, while piling the pressure back on the troika to come to an agreement that suits all parties,” said analyst Craig Erlam at trading group Alpari.
“The simple fact of the matter is, the EC, IMF and ECB do not want Cyprus to default on its debt any more than its government does. A default would be a nightmare for the eurozone and the negative contagion that could follow would be a disaster.”
In foreign exchange activity, the European single currency sank to $1.2949, down from $1.2957 in New York late on Monday, when it had struck a December 10 low point at $1.2882.
Gold prices meanwhile rose to $1,603.94 an ounce on the London Bullion Market from $1,595.50 on Monday.
In Europe, banking shares remained under pressure amid concerns over the sector’s exposure to Cyprus, and a potential deepening in the eurozone’s long-running sovereign debt crisis that has already sparked bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
In Madrid, Spanish bank Santander was off by 0.74 percent at 5.787 euros, UniCredit in Italy was down by 0.98 percent at 3.654 euros.
Elsewhere, BNP Paribas had lost 0.91 percent to 42.36 euros in Paris and Barclays bank was down by 1.29 percent in London at 302 pence. In Germany, Deutsche Bank shares retreated 1.79 percent to 32.86 euros.