The index managed to carve out gains on Monday, brushing aside the Ukraine crisis and a downbeat China manufacturing survey. The common currency was expected to remain under pressure ahead of Thursday's European Central Bank policy meeting. While many market participants do not expect the ECB to take major easing steps this week, a few are seen braced for new policy measures with further central bank easing considered a matter of when and not if in the face of risks to euro zone growth posed by the Ukraine conflict and stubbornly low inflation. "This week may start to mark the biggest shift in global monetary policy since 'Abenomics' went into full steam on the appointment of Haruhiko Kuroda to head up the BOJ," equity strategists at Jefferies wrote in a note to clients.
In 2010, former Chinese gymnast Li Ning led a surging $4 billion sportswear business, a gold-medal pinnacle echoing his victories at the 1984 Olympic Games. Now, the Li Ning (2331.HK) business is more reminiscent of the ex-sportsman's exit from the 1988 Olympics without a podium finish. As customers have turned to aspirational global brands like Nike Inc (NKE.N) or cheaper local firms, Li Ning has racked up heavy losses, losing four-fifths of its market value.
French President Francois Hollande and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi agreed on Monday that deflation and weak growth were threatening the European Union's economy, an official in the president's office said. Draghi called last week for greater emphasis on fiscal stimulus over austerity - comments that irritated German leaders but were welcomed in France because they hinted at a shift away from a current emphasis on budgetary austerity. "I think the diagnosis is a shared one," an advisor to Hollande told reporters after an hour-long meeting between the Socialist president and Draghi at the Elysee presidential palace. The two men shared the view that weak growth and a threat of deflation in the European Union were problems that needed to be addressed, the advisor added.