Here’s what’s shaking:
Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.3 percent to 6,071.53 while Germany’s DAX was down nearly 0.5 percent to 7,738.63. France’s CAC-40 lost 0.6 percent to 3,707.68.
Wall Street appeared headed for losses ahead of the opening bell. Dow Jones futures fell 0.1 percent to 13,330 while S&P 500 futures lost 0.1 percent to 1,456.10.
The one bright spot was the banking sector, where stocks were up after global regulators eased new rules obliging lenders to set capital aside. The so-called Basel III rules are a set of new international standards to make sure banks don’t fall back into the sort of trouble that caused the 2008 financial crash. On Sunday, the officials setting those rules delayed the date by which certain amounts of cash had to be readily available.
The subdued mood in the broader markets was also seen earlier in Asia. The Nikkei in Tokyo fell 0.8 percent to close at 10,599.01.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng was nearly unchanged at 23,329.75. South Korea’s Kospi lost less than 0.1 percent to 2,011.25. Benchmarks in Singapore and Taiwan fell while mainland Chinese shares rose.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for February delivery was down 44 cents to $92.65 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the Nymex contract closed up 17 cents at $93.09 a barrel after the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration reported that the nation’s crude supplies fell by 11.1 million barrels during the last week of 2012, much more than analysts expected.
The impact of last week’s release of a transcript of the Federal Reserve’s December meeting showing that policymakers disagreed over how long to keep up its easing programs was still being felt on the market.
Analysts expect the Nymex contract, which finished 2012 around 7 percent lower on the year, its first annual fall since 2008, to continue trading near its current range in the near term.
INTL FCStone in New York forecast an average price of $92 a barrel for the Nymex contract during 2013.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, was down 44 cents to $110.87 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
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Front page photo courtesy Getty Images.