LONDON Dec 10 European stocks managed to eke
out a slight gain on Monday, led by French-Italian company
STMicroelectronics after it announced plans to quit a
loss-making joint venture.
The firm was up 4.4 percent by the close, leading gainers on
the provisionally 0.1 percent higher FTSEurofirst 300
and helping the French CAC outperform regional peers on
news it will exit a mobile chip tie-up with Ericcson.
The late move into positive territory was tentative,
however, after markets across the region had been hit earlier in
the day by the news of fresh political turmoil in Italy.
News over the weekend that Italian Prime Minister Mario
Monti planned to resign once the 2013 budget is passed, raised
worries that had been bubbling under the surface over political
and financial instability in the euro zone.
"There is a clear risk whatever the outcome (of the
elections), in the end, the market will be forced into thinking
that things are not under control and then the European Central
Bank has to intervene," said Nicola Marinelli, portfolio manager
at Glendevon King Asset Management.
As a result, Italy's FTSE MIB fell 2.2 percent,
while the spread between 10-year Italian debt and German Bunds
widened highlighting concerns within the bond market.