European shares retreat as G20 fails to strike new measures

Reuters London | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on February 29, 2016

European shares retreated from a three-week high on Monday and were on track for their third straight month of losses after a weekend meeting of the G20 group of leading economies failed to strike new measures to boost growth.

British grocer Morrisons helped keep a lid on gains, surging nearly 4 per cent after a striking a distribution deal with online retailer Amazon.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 1 per cent. It has fallen more than 4 per cent this month.

"Investors are disappointed that the G20 leaders fell short of coming up with new supporting measures despite once again repeating their concerns about the global economy and financial markets," said Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets in Brussels.

The Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers said they needed to look beyond ultra-low interest rates to revive the global economy, flagging risks to growth including volatile capital flows and sinking commodity prices.

Cyclical sectors, which generally suffer when the pace of economic growth slows, came under pressure. The European banking index fell 2.1 per cent, the financial services sector dropped 1.6 per cent and insurers dropped 1.3 per cent.

Britain's FTSE 100 index fell 0.7 per cent, Germany's DAX dropped 1.1 per cent and France's CAC 40 was down 1 per cent.

Ireland's benchmark equity index fell about 0.5 per cent, taking this year's losses to around 10 per cent, after early results pointed to an inconclusive outcome to parliamentary elections.

Morrisons rose 3.8 per cent following its deal with Amazon.

The British supermarket sector has been convulsed by fierce competition in recent years and analysts have said a step-up from Amazon could hurt the traditional players even more.

"The tie-up with Amazon is also consistent with Morrisons' plans to drive volume, broaden its brand reach and leverage its marginal costs," Shore Capital said in a note.

"..Operational improvement should lead to free cash generation that shareholders can expect in time to receive."

Published on February 29, 2016
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