In London, stocks fell every day and the FT-SE 100 ended the week 188 points down at 4593.9, its worst five-day loss since the crash of 1987. Banks and retailers were among the decliners, dragged down by concern that interest rates will need to rise again soon. Speculation that the Government will scrap a 20 per cent tax credit on dividend payments to the pension funds, reducing the yield on equities, hurt the market.
In Germany, the DAX index rose 1.17 per cent to 3,788.27 led by overseas earners such as Lufthansa, Volkswagen and Merck on the back of the strong dollar. Merck also gained after the company said its Canadian division had received a preliminary licence from the US to market a generic version of Zantac.
In France, the CAC fell 1.8 per cent to 2,757.10 after setting an all- time high in the previous week. Politics unsettled the market all week on concern that the new government's policies could raise labour costs. But stocks rallied on Friday amid hopes that consumer spending is set to take off. Copyright: IOS & BloombergReuse content