Business

Shares fall after Germany's eurozone debt deal warning

Market Data

Last Updated at 19:07 GMT

Market index Current value Trend Variation % variation
Dow Jones 23147.32 Down -10.28 -0.04%
Nasdaq 6597.31 Down -26.91 -0.41%
FTSE 100 7523.04 Down -19.83 -0.26%
Dax 12990.10 Down -52.93 -0.41%
Cac 40 5368.29 Down -15.52 -0.29%
BBC Global 30 10295.49 Down -49.48 -0.48%

European shares went into reverse after Germany cautioned that a eurozone debt crisis plan might not be ready by the end of the week.

Indexes had opened higher after a statement from G20 finance ministers and central bankers on Saturday.

They said an EU summit would address the "challenges through a comprehensive plan" when it meets on 23 October.

However, optimism waned after German officials warned against unrealistic expectations. Wall Street also fell.

"The chancellor has pointed out that the dreams building up that this package will mean everything will be solved and over by Monday cannot be fulfilled," said Steffen Seibert, chief spokesman for Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble also warned that the summit in Brussels was not expected to deliver a definitive solution to the crisis.

Share indexes fell after the comments. Germany's Dax had initially risen close to 1.9% in the first hour of trade, but ended the day 1.8% below its opening price.

France's Cac40 gave up a 1.5% rise, to close 1.6% lower. The UK's FTSE 100 lost 0.5%.

Wall Street was also unsettled, with the Dow Jones closing down 246.9 points, or 2.12%, at 11,397.6.

On the currency markets, the euro weakened against the US dollar. After hitting a one-month high of $1.3915 earlier in the day, it traded as low as $1.3739.

Misplaced confidence?

BBC business editor Robert Peston has cautioned that there is no guarantee EU leaders will agree a deal at the weekend and that even if they do it may be ineffective.

"When I talk to ministers, regulators, bankers and investors they all say, which is a statement of the obvious, two things: that such a rescue cannot be taken for granted; and [perhaps more importantly] that whatever is agreed will not solve the eurozone's fundamental problem," he said.

The meeting of EU leaders will be followed on 3 and 4 November by a G20 summit in the French city of Cannes.

The eurozone debt crisis is centred on Greece, the most indebted country in the region, and whether it will ultimately default on its debt.

However, the big concern is that the debt crisis could spread to other eurozone countries such as Italy and Spain, and the impact this would have on European banks exposed to eurozone government debt.

There is also concern that Greece may ultimately have to leave the eurozone, destabilising the euro and the region's economy.

So far, Greece and two other eurozone nations, Portugal and the Irish Republic, have needed bailout loans from the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

G20 finance ministers said in a statement following their meeting on Saturday that the IMF had enough funds to make its contribution to solving the crisis.