Markets & Finance

Europe, Asia Close Higher


European stock markets closed higher on Friday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index rose 47.8 points to 5161. UK PMI unexpectedly rose to 49.6 in June from 47.0 in May. 88 FTSE stocks rose, 8 fell on turnover of 1,594,000,000 shares. Yields on 10-year gilts rose to 4.20% from 4.15% yesterday. Sterling fell to $1.7701. August Brent crude oil futures rose.

Among stocks on the move, Emap rose after Morgan Stanley raised stock to overweight from equal-weight. Hilton Group rose on an FT report the company might sell 16 hotels in the U.K. to raise 300 million pounds. Allied Domecq rose after Pernod Ricard won U.S. regulatory approval for its acquisition of the British company. BATM Advanced Communications rose after the company reported strong five-month sales. Danka Business Systems rose after agreeing to sell its Canadian unit to Pitney Bowes for $14 million in cash.

In Germany, the DAX index rose 39.79 points to 4617.07. The German PMI index rose to 49.8 in June from 49.4 in May. Also, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder lost a confidence vote in parliament, paving way for September elections that could bring in the more pro-business Angela Merkel as leader. 27 Dax stocks rose, 3 fell on turnover of 100,883,000 shares. Yields on 10-year Bunds rose to 3.15% from 3.12% yesterday. The euro fell to $1.1960.

Altana fell after the company said it and Pfizer ended cooperation on developing and marketing smokers' lung drug. Fluxx fell after company said one of its board members is under investigation for unauthorized betting. MediGene fell after company said it needs to conduct further tests for its Polyphenon E green tea-based skin cancer salve.

France's CAC 40 rose 40.27 points to 4269.62 as French PMI rose to 49.9 in June from 48.8 in May. 36 CAC stocks rose, 3 fell on turnover of 80,595,000 shares. yields of 10-year bonds rose to 3.16% from 3.12% yesterday.

Publicis Groupe and Sanofi-Aventis rose as dollar rose against the euro. Pingueley-Houlotte rose after company said it expects 2005 sales and profits rise between 20% and 30%. Unilog rose on Le Figaro report company for sale. Tattinger rose on report family members will decide within month whether to sell their controlling stake in company.

Asian markets were higher on Friday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 46.12 points, or 0.40%, to 11,630.13. Stocks rose in Tokyo for the fourth consecutive day as the Bank of Japan's quarterly Tankan business confidence survey rose to 18 from 14 in the March quarter, beating expectations. The report showed healthy domestic demand and reduced inventories outweighed declining exports.

Along with the Nikkei 225's gain, the broader TOPIX index rose 4.6 points, or 0.39%, to 1181.8, closing near it high for the day. Breadth on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange was 940-545 positive. Volume fell but stayed above its 50-day moving average. Along with the rosy Tankan report, strong quarterly earnings from department store behemoth Takashimaya added to positive sentiment.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was closed for SAR Establishment Day.

Canada's benchmark TSX/S&P lost 126.56 points, or 1.26%, to close at 9,902.77.


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