European Stocks Fell on Friday and Posted a Loss for the Week, as Fitch Ratings Downgraded Greece’s Credit Rating

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Greek Stock Exchange

As reported by Wall Street Journal’s Simon Kennedy:

European stocks fell on Friday and posted a loss for the week, as Fitch Ratings downgraded Greece’s credit rating, rekindling euro-zone debt worries.

Peter Dixon, strategist at Commerzbank, said markets have effectively been range-bound for around six weeks as positive earnings announcements have offset uncertainty over the sovereign-debt situation.

Investors don’t think it’s the right time to sell equities, but they are wary of taking on additional risk at a time when there are so many things going on in the global economy,” he said. “We’re continuing to see conflicting messages out of the euro zone with regard to Greece, so it’s not surprising that investors are keeping their powder dry.”

The Stoxx Europe 600 index slipped 0.1% to 279.65. For the week, it dropped 0.3%.

Equities in Greece, Spain and Italy fell sharply on the Greek downgrade.

In Athens, the ASE Composite dropped 1.9% to 1297.36, while in Madrid the IBEX 35 index fell 1.5% to 10226.60 and in Milan, the FTSE MIB index closed down 1.5% at 21236.87.

In London, the FTSE 100 index slipped 0.1% to 5948.49. Lloyds Banking Group dropped 2.9% after being downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at Goldman Sachs.

BP gained 2.7% after the oil giant said it reached a settlement with Moex Offshore 2007, which had a 10% interest in the Macondo oil well. BP said Moex will pay $1.065 billion after recognizing that the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was the result of mistakes by multiple parties.

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