European markets are set to extend losses on Monday as investor concerns turn to Spanish bank recapitalization needs and a possible downgrade to the country’s credit rating.
The FTSE is called down 12 points at 5,730, the German DAX down 11 points at 7,205 and the French CAC down 10 points at 3,344.
Fears over Spain’s economic troubles are set to continue on Monday after Spanish treasury minister, Cristobal Montoro announced on Saturday that aid for the country’s ailing banks would inflate its budget deficit to 7.4 percent of GDP versus a target of 6.3 percent.
Investors are also awaiting a decision by credit ratings agency Moody’s on whether it is downgrading the country’s credit rating to junk status on Monday.
Spain has asked for a 100 billion euro ($128.2 billion) bailout for its banks, but an independent audit said on Friday that the 14 banks it surveyed had a capital shortfall of 59.3 billion euro. The banking audit is also a precursor to the setting up of a “bad bank” into which toxic assets can be siphoned off.
Meanwhile, the anti-austerity movement continued across the euro zone with protests taking place in Madrid, Lisbon and Paris this weekend.
As demonstrators in Madrid surrounded government buildings and called for a new government this weekend, protestors in Paris also took to the streets to protest against the European Union’s fiscal pact, which sets strict limits for euro zone budget deficits.
France is yet to sign up to the treaty but the Financial Times reports that despite the protests, the government is likely to approve the pact in October that will commit it to stricter budgetary measures.
Xstrata’s board of directors are expected to recommend that shareholders vote in favor of Glencore’s revised takeover bid and new retention package on Monday morning, which should help bring the seven-month bid saga to a close.
There are no major earnings releases on Monday.