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European stock markets recovered slightly on Monday but not before sliding at the open following last week's sharp losses caused by fears the eurozone could fall back into recession.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index grew 0.13 percent to stand at 6,348.11 points around midday in the British capital compared with Friday's closing level.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 gained 0.42 percent to 8,825.73 points and the CAC 40 in Paris won 0.22 percent to 4,082.83.
Europe's main indices had fallen to the lowest levels this year in recent days before mounting a slight recovery on Monday.
The Nobel Economics Prize went Monday to French economist Jean Tirole, "for his analysis of market power and regulation," the Royal Academy of Sciences in Stockholm said.
The euro jumped to .2677 from .2627 late on Friday in New York, while global oil prices came under further pressure from weakening demand growth for crude against a backdrop of a solid supply situation.
However, the European single currency on Monday hit a near 11-month low against Japan's currency, at 135.55 yen, before returning above the 136 mark.
"October continues to live up to its name as the most volatile trading month of the year, as markets remain highly nervous," said Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at stockbroker Interactive Investor.
In Milan, shares of Italian eyeglass manufacturer Luxottica (Milan: LUX.MI - news) , maker of the Ray Ban and Oakley brands, plunged 8.67 percent around midday, after it announced that its new boss Enrico Cavatorta was resigning after less than month.
And in Paris, French-Italian semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics (Milan: STM.MI - news) fell 4.20 percent in early trading as demand has slowed, especially from China, analysts said.
- France, Finland rocked -
After the close of European trading on Friday, Standard (Other OTC: SNDH - news) and Poor?s kept its 'AA' rating for France but lowered its outlook from "stable" to "negative" over the country's budget situation.
S&P estimated France's budget deficit will reach 4.1 percent of gross domestic product for the period of 2014-2017, up from its April forecast of 3.1 percent.
Standard and Poor's also stripped Finland of its top triple-A rating on Friday, cutting it by one notch to 'AA+', due to dimmed economic growth prospects in the eurozone nation.
"If things weren't bad enough already as European markets, led by the German DAX, dropped more last week than they did in the previous quarter, then ratings agency Standard and Poor?s pretty much put the cherry on the cake," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at traders CMC Markets UK.
World markets (Xetra: 4WM.DE - news) have felt the effect in recent weeks as traders worry about the state of the global economy, with China, the eurozone and Japan struggling even though the United States is clawing its way back to health.
Asian stock markets suffered fresh selling pressure on Monday, while the dollar dipped and oil futures hit multi-year lows, following another round of losses on Wall Street before the weekend fuelled by global growth concerns, dealers said.
"Despite the US economy continuing to grow strongly, the general market malaise has been contagious and concerns about slowing global growth are calling into question the timing of when US rate rises will finally start," said O'Keeffe.
"Any significant delay in these expectations will undermine the US dollar's recent recovery; however the continued support of the Fed should be seen as a positive sign for nervous investors."
On Monday, the British pound was worth .6091, up from .6070 on Friday.
The euro climbed to 78.78 British pence from 78.51 pence on Friday.
The price of gold grew to ,228 an ounce on the London Bullion Market from ,219 on Friday.
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