Markets & Finance

Europe Lower, Asia Higher


European stock markets were lower on Tuesday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index fell 22.30 points to 4964.00 as UK May consumer confidence fell to -1 from 0 in April but CBI May retail sales balance rose to -7 from -14 in April. 68 FTSE stocks fell and 28 rose on turnover of 1,447,000,000 shares. Yields on 10-year gilts fell to 4.30% from 4.38% Friday. Sterling was off at $1.8188. July Brent crude oil futures were lower. Among stocks on the move, Unilever fell after UBS cut its rating to reduce from neutral. International Power fell on a plan to buy a U.K. plant from Calpine of the U.S. Severn Trent fell as Merrill Lynch recommend clients pare holdings. Lonmin rose after UBS raised its rating to buy from neutral.

In Germany, the DAX Index lost 19.8 points to 4460.63 following news that the German jobless rate held at 11.8%, Eurozone May Economic Sentiment fell to 96.1 from 96.5 in April, Industrial Sentiment fell to -11 from -9, in line with recent national indicators, and Consumer Sentiment dropped to -15 from -13 in April. Retail Sentiment remained unchanged at -8. 19 DAX stocks fell and 10 rose on turnover of 103,329,002 shares. Yields on 10-year Bunds fell to 3.26% from 3.32% yesterday. The euro was off at $1.2311 after the French rejected the EU constitution. HVB, which rose 6.6% the previous sessions, fell after Italy's UniCredito said it should know by September or October whether to buy the company. Sixt rose on higher earnings. Commerzbank rose on a Wall Street Journal report that four European rivals were weighing a bid to buy the lender.

France's CAC 40 shed 14.14 points to 4120.73 in a muted reaction to President Chirac's naming Villepin as prime minister in a shakeup that followed French voter rejection of the EU constitution. The euro skidded to a 7-month low on uncertainty about the EU future and a strong chance the Dutch also will reject the document. Also, French consumer confidence index fell to a record -29 from -24 in March. Carrefour fell on the news. 23 CAC stocks fell and 17 rose on 105,524,176 shares. Yields of 10-year bonds fell to 3.33% from 3.34% yesterday. Alstom rose after the company said its fiscal year results improved from a year ago. Xilam Animation rose after reporting its fiscal first-half loss narrowed.

Asian markets were higher Tuesday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 10.26 points, or 0.09%, to 11,276.59 on hopes of rising demand from index-tracking funds after it became one constituent of MSCI's Japan Index after the market closed on Tuesday. On the economic front, Japan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.4% in April, against the market's consensus forecast of 4.5%. Breadth on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange was sharply positive as advancers outpaced decliners 1191 to 332.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rose 21.97 points, or 0.16%, to 13,867.07 on month-end window dressing by institutions. However, breadth on the Hang Seng was 13 to 17 negative. The index was supported by strength in heavy-weight China Mobile.

Canada's benchmark TSX/S&P lost 47.55 points, or 0.49%, to close at 9625.65.


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