By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
European benchmarks slumped Monday, amid concerns over the eurozone’s faltering growth prospects, while shares of those companies that compete with tourism outfit Thomas Cook surged on the heels of its collapse.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +1.18% fell 0.8% to 389.75.
The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +1.50% tumbled 1.07% to 12334.57, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +1.11% fell by about 1% to 5633.46 and the U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.59% dropped 0.2% to 7328.11.
Weighing on investors’ mood Monday were data showing that manufacturing sentiment in the eurozone, purchasing managers index, fell to an 83-month low of 45.6 in September, from 47 in the prior month. Economists polled by FactSet expected a 47.3 reading, with any reading below 50 indicating worsening conditions.
The highlight of that report was German manufacturing PMIs, which fell to 41.4 in September from 43.5, marking the worst reading in more than a decade.
Commerzbank /zigman2/quotes/200193353/delayed DE:CBK +1.45% fell nearly 7% as the bank released a draft of its new strategic initiative. The program calls for total investments of around 1.6 billion euros, a cut of 4,300 full-time jobs, a reduction of its branch network by around 200, and the sale of a majority stake in Poland’s mBank PL:MBK -0.58% .
“While cost control has improved recently, the bank is still somewhat slower in reducing its costs than planned in the old strategy plan Commerzbank 4.0 in our view,” said Deutsche Bank analysts.
Travel operator TUI AG /zigman2/quotes/207049334/delayed UK:TUI +0.45% shares jumped 6.9% and budget airline easyJet’s stock /zigman2/quotes/202825892/delayed UK:EZJ +3.32% gained 3.4% as Thomas Cook Group filed for liquidation.