Markets & Finance

Europe Closes Higher


European stock markets were higher on Wednesday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index rose 39.50 points to 5229.60 as U.K. May industrial production fell less than expected. Balfour Beatty, Barratt Developments, Hanson, and Compass Group rose after London won the contest to host the 2012 Olympics. 79 FTSE stocks rose, 22 fell on turnover of 2,229,000,000 shares. Yields on 10-year gilts rose to 4.27% from 4.26% yesterday as the Bank of England began policy meeting and is expected to leave rates unchanged. Sterling was up at $1.7581. Higher August Brent crude oil futures boosted BP and Shell Transport stocks. Amvescap surged on report Canada's CI Fund Management Inc. might make bid for company. BAE Systems rose after Deutsche Bank raised the share-price estimate. Whitbread rose after Deutsche Bank raised its rating on stock to "buy" from "hold."

In Germany, the Dax index rose 11.84 points to 4615.49 with help from report German May manufacturing orders jumped more than expected 2.7%. But restrained by report June retail sales were slowest in 4 months. 20 DAX stocks rose, 10 fell on turnover of 86,039,000 shares. Yields on 10-year Bunds rose to 3.22% from 3.20% yesterday. The euro was flat at $1.1921. MAN AG rose after the company ended two months of negotiations to buy DaimlerChrysler AG's MTU Friedrichshafen unit. Bayerische Motoren Werke rose on improved June sales. Commerzbank rose on report bank is considering teaming up with U.S. financial investors George Soros and John Flowers to acquire BHW Holding AG and its AHBR mortgage bank business. BHW rose.

France's CAC 40 rose 27.20 points to 4279.95 even though oil prices rose. 28 CAC stocks rose, 12 fell on turnover of 93,075,000 shares. Yields of 10-year bonds rose to 3.22% from 3.21% yesterday. Air France-KLM rose as company and China Southern Airlines plan to create joint venture to share costs, coordinate flights between France and China. Alcatel rose after Romania's Romtelecom chose company and Ericsson to provide network upgrade. Oberthur Card Systems rose after company signed partnership agreement with Canada's Metaca to supply cards to Canadian banks.

Asian markets were mixed on Wednesday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 13.17 points, or 0.11%, to 11,603.53. Stocks finished mixed in Tokyo. The broad-based TOPIX index ended flat at 1183. Breadth on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange was slightly negative. Volume was average. The TOPIX opened higher and trickled lower into the close. Exporters such as Toyota Motor and rival Nissan Motor rose as dollar strength persisted, while profit taking hurt domestic issues in construction, banking and other groups.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rose 25.13 points, or 0.18%, to 14,149.93. The index rose for the first day in five. Advancing issues outpaced decliners by 17 to 10. Volume rose. CNOOC led the Hang Seng higher, rising 3.7%, extending gains since its bid for Unocal.

Canada's benchmark TSX/S&P gained 36.76 points, or 0.36%, to close at 10,111.89.


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