Markets & Finance

Europe Closes Lower


European stock markets were lower on Tuesday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index fell 3.60 points to 5046.80 following a report core inflation eased in May a bit but remained near a seven-year high. 67 FTSE stocks fell, 32 rose on turnover of 1,379,000,000 shares. Yields on 10-year gilts rose to 4.32% from 4.28% yesterday as the Bank Of England President King says recent consumer spending slowdown might not last. Sterling fell and drifted at $1.8068. July Brent crude oil futures fell. Cable & Wireless rose as ABN Amro raised its price forecast for shares. Whitbread rose on higher sales report. Future Plc. fell on report of first half loss. Next Plc. fell after Dresdner analysts cut their per share forecast.

In Germany, the DAX index lost 7.52 points to 4591.69 level as German DIHK sees GDP growth of around 0.1% to 0.2% in remaining quarters of the year. Other polls showed companies were more pessimistic about business expectations, but at the same time said eurozone borrowing costs are not keeping companies from investing. 19 DAX stocks fell, 10 rose on turnover of 96,616,000 shares. Yields on 10-year Bunds rose to 3.20% from 3.18% yesterday. The euro fell to $1.2043. Commerzbank rose on a Financial Times Deutschland the company is in merger talks with WestLB AG. Hornbach Holding fell on lower earnings. Marbert Holding rose on improved earnings. Solar-Fabrik rose on a report it signed a letter of intent to buy an unidentified Malaysian-based supplier of silicon wafers.

France's CAC 40 fell 5.75 points to 4197.74. 24 CAC stocks fell and 16 rose on turnover of 103,725,000 shares. Yields of 10-year bonds rose to 3.20% from 3.18% yesterday. Schneider Electric rose after UBS raised its rating on stock to "buy" from "neutral". Altran Technologies rose on favorable CIC Securities analyst's remarks. BNP Paribas fell on news it agreed to buy Commercial Federal of U.S. for $1.36 billion.

Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 24.41 points, or 0.22%, to 11,335.92. Recent strength in Japanese exporters continued Tuesday as the dollar climbed to an eight-month high against the yen, driving the TOPIX index edged up just 0.67 points, 0.06%, to 1150.33. Breadth on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange was 866-599 negative. Market gains were capped partly by losses in banking shares. Major automakers were uniformly higher. Canon and Fuji Photo Film were also among the day's big gainers.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng fell 47.21 points, or 0.34%, to 13,904.81. Decliners outpaced gainers on the Hang Seng index by 14 to 7. The leading laggard was Johnson Electric as the exporter's financial results for fiscal 2005 (ending March) were below expectations. PCCW edged 1.0% lower after it announced to purchase a total of 59.87% of Sunday Communications at a price of $0.65 (Hong Kong) per share.

Canada's benchmark TSX/S&P lost 19.04 points, or 0.09%, to close at 9,830.90.


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