Markets & Finance

Europe, Asia Lower


European stock markets was were lower Thursday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index lost 71.30 points to 5158.30 after terrorists bombed London's transportation system but finished well up from its 5022.10 low. British Airways, Hilton Group, MyTravel Group, and Stagecoach fell on worries global travel industry would be disrupted. Arriva and Prudential fell on worries about insurance claims. Prime Minister Blair, who returned to London, linked the bombings to the beginning of the G8 in Scotland. 99 FTSE stocks fell, 2 rose on turnover of 2,819,000,000 shares. Yields on 10-year gilts fell to 4.19% from 4.27% yesterday but were up from the 4.14% morning level. Sterling fell to $1.7408 as Bank of England left rates unchanged at its policy meeting.

In Germany, the DAX index fell 85.31 points to 4530.18 but was up from its 4444.94 low in reaction to London terrorist bombings. Shares of Munich Re and Hannover Re fell as result, although Hannover not in terrorism-related pool coverage. 29 DAX stocks fell, 1 rose on turnover of 228,651,000 shares. Yields on 10-year Bunds fell to 3.18% from 3.22% yesterday but were up from the 3.10% morning low. The euro was flat at $1.1925 as European Central Bank left key rates unchanged at 2% at policy meeting. TUI and Lufthansa fell on worries the London event will curb tourism. Analytik Jena fell after company trimmed its operating profit target for year.

France's CAC 40 lost 59.33 points to 4220.62 in reaction to London bombings but finished well up from 4089.27 low on late short covering. Insurance and airline stocks fell on London news. 38 CAC stocks fell and 2 rose on turnover of 231,771,757 shares. Yields of 10-year bonds fell to 3.18% from 3.22% yesterday but were up from this morning's 3.10% flight to safety low. European Central Bank left key rates unchanged at 2% at policy meeting. Danone rose on published report PepsiCo would make bid for the company.

Asian markets also closed lower Thursday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 13.39 points, or 0.12%, to 11,590.14. Stocks in Tokyo tracked losses on Wall Street as benchmark NYMEX August WTI crude oil reached a record closing high of $61.28. The TOPIX index fell 0.3% to 1180.22, showing more broad-based weakness than the Nikkei 225, which is heavily weighted with technology issues. Breadth on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange was 1023-488 negative. Volume was moderate.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng fell 119.12 points, or 0.84%, to 14,030.81. Hong Kong saw the worst performance in Asia, with the Hang Seng index tumbling 0.8% to 14,030.81, accompanied by higher volume. Among the Hang Seng's 33 blue chips, only two rose. Top laggards were COSCO Pacific and Sino Land.

Canada's benchmark TSX/S&P gained 9.11 points, or 0.09%, to close at 10,121.00


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