Stocks decline as Europe fears persist


European stocks declined for a third day as George Soros warned that failure by leaders to produce drastic measures at a summit this week could spell the demise of the euro currency.

Dublin's ISEQ dropped 14 points to stand at 3,027, while US index futures and Asian shares also fell.Irish building materials group CRH was down 1.5 per cent to €13.46, while C&C fell 1.8 per cent to stand at €3.31.

Elsewhere, Nokia Oyj retreated amid speculation Samsung Electronics Co.'s earnings may miss some analyst estimates.

Shire Plc slumped 11 per cent after regulators approved a generic version of its second-biggest selling drug.

SABMiller Plc lost 2 per cent after Anheuser-Busch InBev NV was said to be close to buying the remainder of Mexico's Grupo Modelo SAB.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.8 per cent at 9.57am in London, extending its decline in the last three days to 2 per cent.

The gauge has still gained 0.1 per cent so far this year.

Standard and Poor's 500 Index futures slid 0.7 percent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.6 per cent.

The Stoxx 600 fell in the final two days of last week after German business confidence slid to a two-year low, adding to concern that the euro area's sovereign-debt crisis is derailing growth.

The measure has fallen 10 per cent from its 2012 high on March 16.

Germany will this week confront an increasingly united bloc of euro-area nations demanding more ambitious policies to save the currency union this week.

Leaders will attend pre-summit meetings as they work to narrow differences before the June 28- 29 gathering in Brussels.

Billionaire investor Mr Soros called on Europe to start a fund to buy Italian and Spanish bonds, saying policy makers should create a European Fiscal Authority to purchase the debt in return for the countries implementing achievable budget cuts.

France and Italy are also urging Germany to take decisive action to end the 2 1/2-year-old debt crisis after Spain's 10- year bond yields jumped to more than 7 per cent last week, a level that economists consider unsustainable.