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MENAFN - AFP - 13/11/2012

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(MENAFN - AFP) European stocks retreated and the euro hit a two-month low point versus the dollar Tuesday on fresh eurozone concerns as Germany reported falling investor confidence and Vodafone announced sharp losses.

Tuesday's developments overshadowed better news for Greece, which managed to raise funds to avert a messy default this week.

In stock market trade, the benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies dropped 0.89 percent to 5,716.16 points approaching midday in London as investors also reacted to a surge in British inflation.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 slid 1.03 percent to 7,094.88 points and in Paris the CAC 40 shed 1.0 percent to 3,377.30. Madrid lost 0.60 percent and Milan gave up 0.79 percent.

"Things really aren't improving much in the eurozone and it's starting to spook investors again," said Angus Campbell, head of market analysis at Capital Spreads trading group.

In foreign exchange deals, the euro slipped to 1.2662 -- the lowest level since September 7 and compared with 1.2709 late in New York on Monday.

Gold prices fell to 1,726.63 an ounce from 1,735.25 on the London Bullion Market on Monday.

Fears that the eurozone debt crisis could propel Germany into recession grew on Tuesday after investor sentiment in the bloc's biggest economy dropped unexpectedly.

The widely watched index of investor confidence compiled by the ZEW economic institute fell to minus 15.7 points in November from minus 11.5 in October.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a gain to minus 10.0 points.

Elsewhere, Greece on Tuesday raised 4.062.5 billion euros in short-term bond auctions. The fresh funds plug a financing gap left by a stalled EU-IMF loan which risks triggering default on a short-term debt settlement on Friday.

Eurozone finance ministers were to meet on November 20 to discuss whether Athens would at last be given the urgently needed funds.

The finance ministers on Monday recognised that Greece had made "significant progress" in implementing the budgetary measures required to qualify for the next tranche of bailout money.

But according to a draft report from the EU-IMF auditing mission in Athens, satisfying a Greek request to extend its fiscal adjustment by two years could cost almost an extra 33 billion euros.

On the corporate front, shares in Vodafone slumped 4.49 percent to 159.12 pence after the British mobile phone giant said it had slumped into a net loss of 1.977 billion during its first half on massive writedowns linked to indebted eurozone countries Spain and Italy.

Vodafone's loss after tax for the six months to September 30, equivalent to 3.138 billion or 2.473 billion euros, came as the company said it suffered total impairments of 5.9 billion.

In Frankfurt, shares in E.ON dived 9.70 percent to 14.94 euros as Germany's biggest power supplier said it would no longer achieve its sales targets next year and booked a net loss in the third quarter.


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