LONDON (AP) — European stock markets fell sharply Monday, weighed down by big declines in the share prices of commodities group Glencore and embattled carmaker Volkswagen.
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France's CAC-40 slid 2.4 percent to 4,373 while Germany's DAX fell 1.7 percent to 9,522. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 1.6 percent lower at 6,011. U.S. stocks were poised for a lower opening with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.6 percent.
ANALYST TAKE: "The new week has begun with some modest selling, with markets continuing to exhibit the indecisive behavior that has been the norm throughout September," said Chris Beauchamp, senior market analyst at IG.
GLENCORE SLIDES: Shares in commodities group Glencore slumped by a fifth after an investment bank warned that the company faced a bleak future if commodity prices don't recover. In a note, Investec Securities said mining companies "gorged themselves on cheap debt" in a race to grow production following the Chinese stimulus in the wake of the global financial crisis and that Glencore could see all its equity value "evaporate" if major commodity prices stay at current levels. Glencore's share price was down 20 percent at a record low of 77 pence ($1.17).
VW LOWER AGAIN: Volkswagen shares were down 6.5 percent at 108 euros as German prosecutors opened an investigation against the company's former CEO, Martin Winterkorn, to establish what his role was in the emissions-rigging scandal. The investigation will concentrate on the suspicion of fraud committed through the sale of vehicles with manipulated emissions data, and aims to determine who was responsible, prosecutors in Braunschweig said in a statement.
BUSY WEEK AHEAD: There's a raft of economic news, including speeches later Monday from officials at the U.S. Federal Reserve that should keep investors busy this week. The week culminates Friday with the nonfarm payrolls report for September. The figures often set the market tone for a week or two after their release. Despite the recent decision by the Fed to keep its main interest rate unchanged at a record low, most traders think the central bank will sanction its first rate hike in more than nine years at December's policy meeting and that the payrolls figures will indicate the U.S. economic recovery remains on track.
ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index fell 1.3 percent to 17,645.11 and Singapore, Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta also retreated. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.4 percent to 5,113.50 and the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 3,100.76. New Zealand also advanced. Markets in Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea were closed for holidays.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 95 cents to $44.75 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 87 cents to $47.73 in London.
CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.1160 while the dollar fell 0.3 percent to 120.14 yen.