December 22, 2014
Falling Deutsche Bank pulls European stocks lower
European equities edged lower today, retreating from 5-1/2 year highs as Deutsche Bank's surprise quarterly loss prompted investors to cash in recent sharp gains on banking stocks.
Shares in Germany's biggest lender, which had not been due to release results until Jan. 29, sank 5.4 percent, wiping about 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) off its market capitalisation.
The bank unveiled a sharp drop in fixed income trading revenues and heavy litigation and restructuring costs, which prompted it to warn about a challenging 2014.
Despite the day's sell-off in among banks, the STOXX bank index is still up 5.5 percent in 2014, Europe's best sector performance so far this year.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 0.1 percent lower at 1,344.17 points. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index ended down 0.03 percent at 3,153.17.
Trading volumes were light with US markets closed for a public holiday.
Asian markets managed a muted cheer as China reported economic growth that was a fraction ahead of forecasts, a relief to many but still not enough to dispel a general air of caution.
A majority of the share markets in the region stayed in the red, with Tokyo off 0.6 percent, Sydney 0.2 percent and Shanghai 0.8 percent.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.4 percent.