Business, Finance & Economics

A very bad day in the European markets


German Chancellor Angela Merkel strikes a prayerful pose in the Bundestag today - as well she might - given the news from Europe's stock markets.



Sometimes it takes a few days for the markets to come to a decision about an event like last week's EU summit. Once the storm surrounding David Cameron's refusal to allow a new fiscal regime to be created out of existing European treaties abated, the scale of how much work remained to be done became clear.

As investor Stephen Hargrave put it, The media is catching up with the thought that the Cameron veto was just a distraction from the real news from Brussels: nothing happened."

The media has caught up in the last 24 hours and a generally negative impression of the summit crystallized today and the result was bleak across a range of markets.

The FT has a handy chart for exploring:

The FTSE 100 dropped 123 points. That's off 2.25 percent. CAC, France's main stock exchange lost 3 percent of its value.

Gold dropped under $1,600 an ounce, a loss of 5.37 percent on the day

The Euro reached an 11-month low against the dollar closing below $1.30.

The pound dropped against the world's reserve currency, as well.

Was anything up in the European economy?

Italian bond yields. An auction of five year Italian bonds sold out but the yield on them was 6.47 percent, an all-time high in the euro era.

British unemployment. Figures released today showed 8.3 percent of the work force was out of work. As in the U.S. the figure is probably higher as there has been a large jump in the number of people counted as "self-employed." These are likely to be professionals who have been laid off and are trying to set up as consultants and freelances.