European stocks fell in morning trading on Monday as a health check on banks failed to soothe market worry about the continent’s sovereign debt crisis.
Just eight lenders flunked the so-called ‘stress tests’ designed to see if they had enough capital to withstand another financial crisis.
The results have not revived confidence.
Banks were among the biggest losers in morning trading amid fears the check-ups were not tough enough.
The stress tests excluded a possible debt default by Greece or another euro zone country.
Analysts say more banks would have failed the tests in that case.
Investors are selling stocks to seek refuge in assets such as the Swiss franc, currently at a record high against the euro.
Switzerland’s low level of public debt makes it attractive to traders looking for ‘safe havens’ to put their money.
Gold is seen as another such safe haven. The precious metal hit an all-time high of 1,600 dollars (1,130 euros) an ounce in London early on Monday.