The Italian coast guard rescued about 150 people but another 250 were still missing hours after the disaster happened, said Antonio Candela, a government health commissioner. Italian television showed recovered bodies lined up along the quayside of the islands tiny port. More than 90 bodies had been recovered by midday Thursday, according to Angelino Alfano, a deputy prime minister. “It’s horrific, like a cemetery. They are still bringing them out,” said Giusi Nicolini, Lampedusas mayor. We dont have space for all the bodies theres no room to bury them. Its a dreadful tragedy. How many more tragedies like this have to happen before concrete measures are taken to prevent them? Ms. Nicolini said. Italian police arrested a Tunisian man who came ashore with the survivors on suspicion of being one of the human traffickers who had arranged the passage. He was reportedly identified as a smuggler by the other passengers, according to Nicolini. Italy is accustomed to the sight of exhausted immigrants coming ashore in leaky, converted fishing trawlers and open-sided boats, but the scale of this tragedy appeared to shake many in Italy. According to Fortress Europe, an Italian blog that tracks such deaths, an estimated 13,800 people have died trying to reach Europe from North Africa in the last 15 years, drowning when their boats engines failed or the vessels started taking on water. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that 1,500 people died in the Mediterranean in 2011 alone.
Europe’s cheap stocks set for a long catch-up rally
In some ways, the Washington shutdown illustrates a crisis of governance that can be detected on both sides of the Atlantic. By Sara Miller Llana ,Staff writer / October 2, 2013 People take pictures in front of the steps of the closed Lincoln Memorial. Most of the federal government is closed Tuesday in Washington. Alex Brandon/AP Enlarge Paris European leaders, mired in economic woe, have garnered thinly veiled and sometimes overt criticism from across the Atlantic for how they’ve navigated their domestic crises. Governments have fallen across Europe in recent years. Just today Italy is yet again on the brink, facing its own political collapse. The Christian Science Monitor Weekly Digital Edition But it is with incomprehension that Europe views the US this week, after a congressional dispute over President Obama’s healthcare plan led to a US government shutdown. So far European markets have reacted calmly to America’s political gridlock. And the shutdown has little direct impact on specific transatlantic relations. But it does add to a sense in Europe that the US is bogged down and focused elsewhere, even as discontent over governance is equallydiscernible on both sides of the Atlantic. RECOMMENDED: Think you know Europe?
Resurgent Economy A robust job market and Germanys economic strength in the midst of the euro areas debt crisis helped Chancellor Angela Merkel s Christian Democrats take the largest share of the vote in Sept. 22 elections. German retail sales rose 0.5 percent in August from July, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. That missed the median estimate of a 0.8 percent increase in a Bloomberg News survey of 26 economists. Gross domestic product in the 17-nation euro economy grew 0.3 percent in the three months through June, the first quarterly expansion after six contractions. Economic confidence rose more than forecast in September, with sentiment improving in the industrial sector as well as in services, retail and financial services. Even so, euro-area inflation slowed for a second month in September, led by falling energy prices, according to data today. Euro-Area Inflation Consumer prices rose an annual 1.1 percent after a 1.3 percent increase in August, the European Unions statistics office said. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 34 economists was for 1.2 percent growth. The core inflation rate, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, was 1 percent. Elsewhere, U.K. mortgage approvals rose to the highest in more than five years in August and Hometrack said the nations house prices rose the most in more than six years this month. In the U.S., congress is leaving itself just one day to end a budget stalemate that raises the risk of the first government shutdown in 17 years as Republicans sought to shift blame for the gridlock to Democrats. The Senate will reconvene this afternoon, when it will reject a House plan to delay and limit President Barack Obama s Affordable Care Act.
They have massively underperformed for three or four years because of economic activity in Europe, political uncertainty, etc. The catch-up could take a few years,” said Emmanuel Cau, equity strategist at JPMorgan. Top weights in the MSCI Europe Value Index include bank HSBC , and energy giants BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total. While the STOXX Europe 600 trades at 12.6 times next year’s expected earnings, according to StarMine, HSBC trades at 10.4 times, BP at 7.7 times, with Shell and Total both at 8.2 times. The amount of money invested in European large-cap value equities was 24 billion euros ($32.49 billion) by the end of August, half as much as five years ago, Morningstar data shows. “The common theme is catch-up by lagging assets. That’s a late-cycle theme,” said Christopher Potts, head of economics and strategy at Cheuvreux. “We’re not going to do it in six months. If you’re talking about the recovery of value in Europe, it’s a five-year idea. It took five years to kill that view and it’s going to take years for it to come back.” In 2011, the only other time in the past decade when the price/earnings gap between growth and value was as wide as it is now, the broad market retreat started around three months after that gap began to close. That could be an indicator of when the broader market rally may run out of steam this time although not necessarily. In 2000 the gap between growth and value stocks was narrow yet the overall market downturn did not begin until around five months after the gap began to close. In the past five years the MSCI Europe Value Index has underperformed growth by nearly a quarter, in the run-up to the 2000 market peak, the gap between the two was less than 5 percentage points.