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European Stocks to Open Lower on Euro Debt Concerns

European stocks pointed to a lower open on Monday as initial optimism faded off the back of US non farm payroll figures on Friday and concerns re-emerged about the European sovereign debt crisis.

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Germany's economic minister was forced to reject speculation on Sunday that Greece should abandon the euro zone and return to the drachma, arguing that this would only weaken Europe at a time when it needs to be strengthened.

Monday marks the first anniversary of the International Monetary Fund's approval of rescue loans for Greece in a deal which the country sealed with EU finance ministers.

One year on, the country is still struggling despite the bailout and austerity measures.

Greece's borrowing costs have hit new record highs and investors are now speculating when the country will have to restructure its debt.

The country will remain in the spotlight this week, along with key data and events for China and a continued focus on commodities after silver and oil fell sharply last week.

The positive reaction to the US non-farm payroll figures on Friday could also give way to fears the recovery in employment will not be enough to ensure strong growth in the world's largest economy.

Meanwhile, Centrica the company which owns British Gas, as well as insurer Hiscox and bank HSBC all provide first quarter trading updates. HSBC is also expected to unveil a plans to slash costs, pull back from some of its 87 countries and possibly shrink its US business, Reuters reported on Friday.

The FTSE rose 1 percent on Friday to close at 5,976.77, bolstered by the better than forecast employment data

The China-U.S. strategic and economic dialogue kicks off on Monday, with data on Chinese trade balance, inflation, industrial production and retail sales all due later in the week.

German manufacturing turnover and foreign trade for March are among European data out on Monday.

Contact Europe: Economy

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