European Shares Drop for 8 Straight Weeks

Global stocks slid in recent trading activity as concerns the Greek parliament may not approve austerity measures that are crucial for securing more bailout funds outweighed better-than-expected economic data.

In spread trading, European shares extended their slide to eight straight weeks in the longest losing streak since 1998, with Italian banks tumbling on Greek-related worries.

In share trading, concerns about the long-simmering European debt crisis trumped better-than-expected data on durable goods orders in the United States and German sentiment. May durable goods orders rose 1.9 percent after dropping 2.7 percent in April, the Commerce Department said. Economists had expected May’s orders to rise 1.5 percent.

The Munich-based Ifo think tank said its business climate index, based on a monthly survey of some 7,000 firms, rose to 114.5 in June from an originally reported 114.2 in May.

The Federal Reserve cut its forecast for US economic growth but gave no hint of further stimulus plans. The central bank said the US economy should grow between 2.7 percent and 2.9 percent this year, down from an April projection of growth between 3.1 percent and 3.3 percent.

The Fed’s pledge to continue maintaining interest rates at an exceptionally low level for an extended period indirectly buoyed oil prices because of the policy’s longer-term impact on the dollar.

The euro added to losses after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said at a news conference that a disorderly default in a European country would roil financial markets and the impact on the United States would be “quite significant.”

Economists said the Fed’s statement after a meeting by the interest-rate setting Federal Open Market Committee offered no surprises.

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