ADR Report: Shares Fall On Resurging Fears of Euro-Debt Issues

Date : 01/05/2012 @ 5:52PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Ecopetrol S.A. American Depositary Shares (EC)
Quote : 17.37  0.5 (2.96%) @ 4:04PM

ADR Report: Shares Fall On Resurging Fears of Euro-Debt Issues

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International companies trading in New York closed lower Thursday as European bank shares fell sharply on resurging fears over the euro zone's debt problems.

The Bank of New York index of ADRs ended down 1.1% to 121.40, hampered by Europe's banks.

Germany's Commerzbank AG (CRZBY, CBK.XE) and Deutsche Bank AG (DB, DBK.XE) were both down after Italian bank UniCredit SpA (UNC.MI, UNCFF) said its EUR7.5 billion rights issue would be heavily discounted. This reignited concerns that the German banks might both need similarly large capital increases. Commerzbank shares lost 3.6% to $1.63 and Deutsche Bank shares fell 6.2% to $36.23.

French banks also came under pressure. Credit Agricole SA (CRARY, ACA.FR) closed 5.7% lower at $2.64, BNP Paribas SA (BNPQY, BNP.FR) declined 5.3% to $18.76, and Societe Generale SA (SCGLY, GLE.FR) was off 4.1% to $4.24.

The European index declined 1.6% to 112.66.

Total SA (TOT, FP.FR) Chairman and Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie said the French oil major's European refining margins were negative in December. Shares lost 2% to $51.21.

J.P. Morgan Cazenove lowered AstraZeneca PLC (AZN, AZN.LN) to underweight from neutral and Sanofi (SNY, SAN.FR) to neutral from overweight. The firm said that, due to 2011 market turmoil, their improvements in pharma fundamentals have gone largely unnoticed and have yet to be reflected in valuations. Shares of Sanofi were down 2.1% to $35.73, and AstraZeneca closed 1.3% lower at $46.85.

The Latin American index declined 1.4% to 339.32, and the emerging-markets index slipped 0.1% to 282.68.

The Brazilian real weakened against the U.S. dollar on renewed worries about European debt and economic growth prospects. Shares in the country's biggest companies also declined, with mining giant Vale SA (VALE, VALE5.BR) sliding 2.7% to $22.75 and state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, (PBR, PETR4.BR) closing down 1.3% to $26.11.

Crude-oil futures prices slumped below $102 a barrel after news that U.S. oil inventories rose last week due to weak demand. The news weighed on shares of the region's oil companies. Colombia's Ecopetrol SA (EC, ECP.T, ECOPETROL.BO) eased 0.1% to $45.96.

The Asian index closed fractionally lower at 116.97.

Japan's Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission has asked U.S. and other overseas securities market regulators for information on the Olympus Corp. (OCPNY, 7733.TO) cover-up, including the company's positions in foreign funds used to hide investment losses, The Nikkei reported early Friday. The camera maker's shares slipped 0.5% to $13.

Hitachi Ltd. (HIT, 6501.TO) provided some cheer. Its shares gained 1% to $54.65 as it disclosed the purchase of German firm Huco Automotive GmbH with an eye toward gaining access to sales networks in 70 European and other countries, The Nikkei reported early Friday.

-By Maya Pope-Chappell, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3670;

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