By Steve Goldstein
European stocks slumped Monday, declining on fears over China’s struggling property sector as well as the Chinese effort to rein in commodity prices.
The continued rout in iron-ore futures sent miners including Anglo American /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL -1.06% and Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO -1.35% sharply lower, as worries about the world’s second-largest economy mounted with questions surrounding the ability of property developer China Evergrande /zigman2/quotes/208605330/delayed HK:3333 +8.55% to make two interest payments this week.
“The big question is whether Evergrande’s problems will cause a contagion to other companies/sectors in China and hit growth there,” said Marshall Gittler, head of investment research at BDSwiss Holding.
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.26% fell 1.8% to 453.52, as banks including Deutsche Bank /zigman2/quotes/207242873/delayed XE:DBK +1.71% and Societe Generale /zigman2/quotes/206663756/delayed FR:GLE +4.48% also traded sharply lower.
Of the major regional indexes, the German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +0.11% skidded 2.2%, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +0.02% slumped 2.4% and the U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.05% slumped 1.5%.
The Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.54% dropped more than 3% with markets in Japan, South Korea and China closed for holidays, and U.S. stock futures /zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed ES00 -0.0061% /zigman2/quotes/210219788/delayed NQ00 -0.01% pointed to a downbeat start on Wall Street.
The biggest Stoxx 600 faller was Prudential PLC /zigman2/quotes/200530572/delayed UK:PRU 0.00% , which fell 6% after announcing it will sell up to 131 million shares.
The biggest Stoxx 600 gainer was Deutsche Lufthansa /zigman2/quotes/201210530/delayed XE:LHA +0.29% , which rose 4% after announcing a €2.1 billion stock sale to repay its bailout.