European shares slip amid political tension

Reuters, Monday 21 Feb 2011

Libya unrest prompts FTSE opening dip

European shares slipped in early trade on Monday on growing uncertainty over the impact of political tension in oil producing regions after escalating social unrest in Libya over the weekend.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares was down 0.3 per cent at 1,182.97 points, after gaining 1.1 percent in the previous week.

Anti-government protesters rallied in Tripoli's streets and army units defected to the opposition as oil exporter Libya endured one of the bloodiest revolts to convulse the Arab world .

"Libya has more significant oil reserves than Egypt and there is uncertainty about supplies. Markets don't like uncertainty," said Bernard McAlinden investment strategist at NCB Stockbrokers.

Among individual movers, Carlsberg fell 4 per cent after the Danish brewer posted a surprise fall in fourth-quarter operating profit and said the Russian market in 2010 had been hit hard by excise duties.

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