Markets & Finance

Stocks in Europe Finish Higher


European stock markets finished higher on Monday. London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index was up 49.6 points, or 1.07%, to 4,673.8, boosted by positive takeover speculation over Sainsbury and an upward correction in mining stocks. Shares in Sainsbury (+2%) continued their rise after weekend reports suggested private equity investors are planning to approach the Sainsbury family with a takeover proposal fronted by former Asda chiefs Allan Leighton and Archie Norman. Meanwhile, the mining sector regained losses incurred from China's surprise decision to hike interest rates last week.

In economic news, Britain's October CIPS manufacturing PMI rose to a higher than expected 53.0 level from 52.2 in September.

Germany's DAX index gained 52.39 points, or 1.32%, to 4,012.64 as buying sentiment was helped by a slump in oil prices and a weaker dollar. Utilities RWE (+3.0%) and E.ON (+1.9%) gained on optimism ahead of third-quarter data, while Altana (+2.6%) benefited following news its chemical unit has begun production in China. Adidas-Salomon (+2.5%) rose ahead of third-quarter data due on Wednesday. German PMI dropped to 52.8 from 54.1 in September.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index rose 27.25 points, or 0.74%, to 3,734.07. Investors were wary of making a commitment ahead of the U.S. presidential elections, given the uncertainty of the outcome, according to Standard & Poor's MarketScope. French PMI dropped to 53.5 from 54.0 in September.

In Asia, the markets finished mixed on Monday as investors stayed sidelined ahead of the U.S. presidential election on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 36.71 points, or 0.34%, to close at 10,734.71, with activity focused on small caps. Investors sold shares of firms which reported weak earnings results, with NTT DoCoMo down 1.6%, while Olympus tanked 5.11%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rose 39.59 points, or 0.3%, to close at 13,094.25 in cautious trade ahead of the U.S. presidential election.


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