Europe shares hit 2-year low; Swiss stocks up
Brussels, September 6, 2011
European shares fell to their lowest close in more than two years on Tuesday, on worries that the euro zone debt crisis was deteriorating, with political discord in the region, and that major economies were headed for recession.
Banks exposed to the euro zone peripheral among the worst performers. The STOXX Europe 600 Banking Index fell 2.1 percent and hit a fresh 29-month low. French banks BNP Paribas and Societe Generale fell 5.2 and 6.3 percent respectively.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares fell 0.7 percent to end the session unofficially at 904.07 points, its lowest close since July 2009.
However, Switzerland's share benchmark climbed 4.4 per cent after the country's central bank set an exchange rate cap on its soaring franc to stave off a recession.
"We're still in the eye of the storm," said Richard Batty, strategist at Standard Life Investments, part of the Standard Life Group, which administers 196.8 billion ($314 billion) pounds of assets.
"Investors are concerned about the tier two economies, such as Italy, and its ability to get its budget through parliament, and come up with a fiscal consolidation plan to make its debt sustainable."-Reuters