Markets & Finance

Europe Closes Lower


European stock markets were lower on Monday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index fell 19.00 points to 4980.40 on profit taking. 72 FTSE stocks fell and 24 rose on turnover of 1,031,000,000 shares. Yields on 10-year gilts were up to 4.26% from 4.25% Friday as the Bank of England is expected to leave key rates unchanged at 4.75% at Thursday's policy meeting. Sterling was up at $1.8197. July Brent crude oil futures were a bit lower. Carnival fell after U.S. Supreme Court ruled cruise lines that operate in U.S. waters can be sued by passengers under a federal disabilities law, even if registered in another country. Wolseley fell after Numis Securities cut rating on stock to "add" from "buy". Alphameric rose after the company said fiscal first-half performance was strong. Elementis rose after Chairman Keith Hopkins resigned from the board after discussions with Hanover Investors.

In Germany, the DAX Index fell 13.13 points to 4497.26 as German April factory orders fell 2.9% and March revised to 2.1% from 2.2% orginally reported. 22 DAX stocks fell and 8 rose on turnover of 94,086,000 shares. Yields on 10-year Bunds fell to 3.20% from 3.22% Friday. The euro was up at $1.2273. Aareal Bank rose after company said it will sell a portfolio of non-performing loans to Lone Star Funds. Commerzbank fell after the company denied reports it had been approached about a takeover. MTU Aero Engines higher on news company and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts raised 748.7 million euros in an initial public offering. Singulus Technologies fell after after Deutsche Bank cut its recommendation on the shares to "sell" from "hold". Sunways rose after Smith Barney initiated coverage with a "buy" rating. Solar-Fabrik rose after Smith Barney initiated coverage with a "hold" recommendation.

France's CAC 40 lost 16.00 points to 4146.47 even though European retail sales rose. 29 CAC stocks fell and 11 rose on turnover of 93.299,000 shares. Yields of 10-year bonds fell to 3.22% from 3.24% Friday. EADS fell on report Emirates seeking damages from delay in aircraft delivery. France Telecom fell after the government said it would offer up to 8% of the company to institutions.

Asian markets were mixed on Monday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 29.43 points, or 0.30%, to 11,270.62. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 average fell 0.3% to 11270.62 at the close of Monday's session on dampened sentiment following a slide on Wall Street on weak jobs data, with technology stocks and exporters taking a beating. On the upside, Hitachi Zosen shares surged 3.6% after the Nihon Keizai reported the company had received an order worth about 20 billion yen to build a plant for Daicel Chemical Industries. On the economic front, Japanese companies increased spending on plant and equipment by 7.4% in the January to March quarter from the year-ago period, which came in stronger than expectations.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rose 42.10 points, or 0.30%, to 13,860.55, aided by reports that Chinese authorities may temporarily suspend IPOs in hopes to boost its sagging stock markets, gains in oil stocks following a sharp rise in crude prices last Friday. Of the 33 Hang Seng constituents, 25 rose and four declined. Top gainers were Wheelock, CKI Holdings, and Hang Lung Properties. China Overseas has unveiled plans to team up with Sun Hung Kai Properties to seek land purchase opportunities in the mainland as part of its 40 billion yuan expansion plan over the next five years. China Overseas will spend more than 8 billion yuan to add more than 1.2 million square meters to its land bank each year. China Overseas also said it will sell its construction arm, Zetson Enterprises, to its parent for $788 million (Hong Kong).

Canada's benchmark TSX/S&P loses 17.20 points, or 0.18%, to close at 9,653.97.


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