Economic gloom pressures shares, central banks eyed

LONDON: The looming recession across the euro zone kept European shares and the single currency under pressure on Monday, but moves were capped ahead of a meeting of central bankers at the end of the week which could signal fresh stimulus measures.

The growing hope for more accommodative monetary stance around the world was supporting commodity markets, with gold at a 4-1/2 month high and oil prices up over a $1 a barrel, though supply concerns also supported these gains.

"Current moves are all about the markets' appetite for risk assets and whether the three main central banks of the world will be doing their bit to give these markets a liquidity boost," GFT strategist Andrew Taylor wrote in a note.

The blue chip Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX and France's CAC-40 were all down 0.1-0.2 percent in early trade with volumes expected to be thin as the British market, Europe's largest, was shut for a public holiday.

The euro was little changed at $1.2510, staying below a peak of $1.2590 set on Thursday with its upside seen capped ahead of the gathering of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, beginning on Friday.

U.S. Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke has used previous such meetings to signal that more policy easing is in the pipeline. - Reuters

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