Markets & Finance

Europe Higher


European stock markets were higher Monday. In London, the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 was closed for May Day holiday.

Germany's Dax gained 39.18, or 0.94%, to close at 4224.02. Frankfurt ended Monday's session with solid gains as Wall Street is firmer. News that Adidas has sold its Salomon segment to Finland's Amer Sports for 485 million euro was taken positively. Earlier, the sports apparel manufacturer said first-quarter net profit rose 43% to 105 million euro, above forecasts of 95 million euro. It expects sales to rise this year at the top end of its 10 to 15% guidance. Allianz CEO Diekmann sees 'no negative surprises' at Dresdner Bank. Deutsche Boerse is expected to announce first-quarter net of 98.6 million euro, vs. 76.9 million euro in 2004. BMW's CEO, Panke, confirmed in an interview with local press that the fiscal year sales increase will be in the high single-digit percent range. He sees net profit growing at the same rate as last year. The group reports first-quarter results tomorrow. Bayer traded ex-dividend today.

In France, the CAC 40 gained 27.06 points, or 0.69%, to close at 3938.77. The CAC40 ended comfortably higher on Monday as Wall Street makes firm progress amid declining oil prices. WTI trades at $49.55 per barrel, down 17 cents, but off intraday lows. AIG bounces 3.3% as the insurer attempts to rebuild confidence, and will restate more than four years of financial reports. In Europe, trading volume was thin as London remained closed for the first May bank holiday. At home, stripping out the ex-dividend effect, Arcelor rallied ahead of first-quarter results, due tomorrow. On Friday, shareholders approved fiscal 2004 accounts and the payment of a gross dividend of 65 euro cents per share, payable today. Renault was firm - despite a downgrade to underperform from outperform by Cheuvreux - as Carlos Ghosn took up the reins of the carmaker. Ghosn is responsible for the 12-month turnaround of Nissan and takes on the post of CEO at a time when European automakers are struggling to improve profitability. On a negative note, Sanofi slipped 0.51% after Bristol-Myers reported a 36% decline in first-quarter net income on Friday, resulting from the loss of patent protection for some of its older drugs. The validity of co-produced Plavix is currently being challenged in the U.S.

Asian markets were lower on Monday. The Nikkei 225 lost 6.79 points, or 0.06%, to close at 11,002.11. Friday gains on Wall Street did little to inspire action in a holiday thinned Monday trading session in Tokyo. Japan traded today, but this is Golden Week and the market will be closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was closed.

Canada's benchmark TSX/S&P gained 60.91 points, or 0.65%, to close at 9,430.21.


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