European stocks mostly drop
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LONDON, Feb 18 AFP
February 19 2013, 04:59AM
Europe's main stock markets have mostly fallen after a weekend meeting of the Group of 20 leading economies ended with Japan being spared an accusation of unfairly devaluing its currency.
London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies slid 0.16 per cent to 6,318.19 points on Monday, while Frankfurt's DAX 30 rose 0.46 per cent to 7,628.73 points and Paris's CAC 40 added 0.18 per cent to 3,667.04 points.
Milan's FTSE Mib fell 0.51 per cent to 16,406 points and Madrid's IBEX 35 also dropped 0.51 per cent, to end the day at 8,108.9 points.
"Equity indices have traded marginally lower through the session as traders take pause for thought with US markets closed for the President's Day public holiday," said CMC Markets trader Matt Basi.
In foreign exchange deals on Monday the yen resumed its downward trend as dealers welcomed the end of the G20 talks in Moscow, which came amid concerns that Japan's new aggressive monetary policy could spark a currency war.
The dollar rose to 93.95 yen from 93.53 yen on Friday, while the euro rose to 125.43 yen from 124.97 yen on Friday.
Meanwhile the euro dipped to $US1.353 from $US1.3360.
Gold prices dipped to $US1,610.75 an ounce from $US1,612.25 on the London Bullion Market.
"As suspected the weekend G20 statement on currencies proved to be every bit as bland as markets expected it might be," said Michael Hewson, senior analyst at trading group CMC Markets.
"The statement urged countries to refrain from competitive devaluations, and instead focus on measures to boost growth and price stability."
The G20 finance ministers' statement issued on Saturday said: "We will refrain from competitive devaluation," adding "we will not target our exchange rates for competitive purposes".
The pledge echoed a recent statement by the G7 richest nations. Neither named Tokyo as a currency manipulator.
The Bank of Japan, under pressure from the country's new conservative government, unveiled a plan for unlimited monetary easing last month and a target for two per cent inflation as part of a bid to beat lingering deflation.
However, the moves sparked charges of manipulation, particularly in Europe, with some warning of a currency war in which nations weaken their units in a bid to boost exports.
The Japanese unit has lost about 17 per cent against the dollar and 25 per cent against the euro since November.