The European stocks experienced a fall even today, thereby extending the two week decline of the same. Today’s losses were led by Novo Nordisk, the largest insulin maker in the world. The shares of Novo sank the most in last 4 years as it failed to get the approval of US authorities for its new drug. The shares of the company decreased by 13%. The benchmark gauge of European shares, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index went down by 0.6% and is at 285.62 currently. Despite the recent declines, the gauge has still been able to record an increase of 2.1% in 2013, thanks to the budget deal agreement of the US policy makers at the start of this year.
According to the Strategist of Standard Life Investments, Frances Hudson, stocks were kind off to the races when the year started and as a normal thing, it is consolidating at this moment. Frances added that having a small pause for consolidating is good and it allows others for taking a measured approach for the future trades.
On today, the total number of shares changing hands was 29% less if compared to the 30-day average. Incidentally, numerous Asian markets such as Hong Kong, China and Japan were closed, today marking the first day of Lunar New Year.
On today, ministers of the 17 nations of the Euro zone met for discussing a possible aid to Greece and Cyprus. Incidentally, two major members of the region, Spain and Italy are under tight situations currently. While the former is under a threat of re-ignition of the debt crisis, the latter is currently witnessing a tight Parliamentarian election campaign. Incidentally, the central bankers and financial chiefs will be meeting on this Friday.
Coming to individual company stocks, Lundin Petroleum AB experienced a decline of 10% as the same announced of a low profit compared to the forecasts. Royal Ahold NV, on the other hand, increased by 3.8% as it agreed to sell 60% of its stake in ICA, the largest food retailer of Sweden in a deal worth $3.1 billion.
Right on this week, many European companies such as Heineken NV, Barclays Plc., Total SA etc. are going to publish their earnings. According to a group of economists, the members of the Stoxx 600 are going to increase the dividends by 1.8% in this year.