European stocks dropped amid growing concern Greece will be forced to leave the euro area.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new French President Francois Hollande said they would consider measures to spur economic growth in Greece as long as voters committed to the austerity demanded to stay in the euro.
National benchmark indexes declined in 13 of western Europe’s 18 markets. The U.K.’s FTSE fell 0.6%, Germany’s DAX dropped 0.3% and France’s CAC increased 0.3%. Greece’s ASE Index fell 1.3% to its lowest level since February 1990.
Lamprell Plc plunged 57% after the oil and gas rig engineer said it will incur a “small” loss in the first half, citing delays in equipment deliveries.
Credit Agricole climbed 2.2%, after tumbling 13% over the previous three days. Societe Generale upgraded the lender’s shares to buy from sell with a price target of 4 euros.
Italy’s Banca Carige SpA fell to its lowest since at least 1995.
Swatch Group AG gained 2.7% after the watchmaker forecast that the industry will expand at a “high single-digit” or “double-digit” pace in 2012 amid growing demand for luxury goods.
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