LONDON — Europe's major stock markets started the week on a down note, with the German and French markets leading the decline.
In mid-morning trading today, the DAX in Frankfurt and the CAC 40 in Paris were both down 1.1 percent, to 6,789.25 and 3,429.33 points, respectively. The FTSE 100 in London sank 0.7 percent to 5,896.72, followed by the FTSE MIB, which edged down 0.4 percent to 16,242.16.
The euro traded at $1.34, while the pound traded at $1.59 at 11:10 a.m. CET.
Retail and luxury stocks put on a mixed show. Stocks on the rise included Hugo Boss, which was up 0.1 percent to 72.73 euros; French Connection climbed 2.6 percent to 0.50 pounds; Yoox was up 1 percent to 10.56 euros, and Marks & Spencer rose 1.2 percent to 3.58 pounds.
Among the stocks that lost ground were Ferragamo, which tumbled 2.5 percent to 13.87 euros; Safilo Group, which sank 3.2 percent to 5.28 euros, and Burberry Group, which was down 1.5 percent to 14 pounds.
According to the U.K.'s Office for National Statistics, the U.K. economy shrank by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, caused by a lack of investment by businesses and a fall in manufacturing.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"