Markets & Finance

Europe Stocks End Mixed


European stock markets finished mixed on Friday.

In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index rose 20.2 points to 5,241.80 despite more London terrorist activity and a report showing second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth was the slowest in 12 years.

Among stocks on the move, insurer Aviva fell on the London attacks. Royal Dutch Shell, which just completed the merger of the company's Dutch and U.K. parent companies, lost ground. BPB and Compass Group both rose on takeover speculation. Cable & Wireless rose on a report the company is in talks to buy smaller U.K. rival Energis Plc to gain business customers such as Tesco Plc. Pace Micro Technology rose after the company signed agreements to supply television set-top boxes to DirecTV Group.

In Germany, the DAX Index rose 7.03 points to 4,836.9 after overcoming early profit taking and higher oil prices.

MAN rose after Credit Suisse First Boston said the stock would be "one of the winners" from the revaluation of China's yuan. Schering rose after the company posted second-quarter profit and sales that beat analysts forecasts. Infineon fell in reaction to Google's warning of a slower quarter. BASF fell after Goldman Sachs cut the share recommendation to in-line from outperform.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index lost 10.14 points to 4,415.52 as oil prices rose and London police killed a terrorism suspect.

Groupe Danone, which has risen this week on speculation PepsiCo would make a takeover bid, fell as the French government said it would seek to block an offer; Danone said it had not been contacted by anyone about a merger. France Telecom fell on a report the company might make a cash and stock bid for Spain's No. 3 mobile operator.

Asian stock markets ended mixed on Friday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index fell 91.68 points to 11,695.05. Stocks tumbled in Tokyo as China's revaluation of the yuan put upward pressure on the yen, raising concerns of an adverse impact on Japan's economy. Japan relies heavily on exports for growth, and a stronger yen makes its goods less attractively priced in foreign markets.

Exporters Toyota Motor, Honda Motor, Sony, and Canon were among the worst performers by index points in the broader TOPIX index.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index climbed 166.32 points, or 1.14%, to 14,786.46.

H-shares -- shares of mainland Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong -- continued to benefit from China's strong second-quarter GDP growth. This offset weakness in some exporters on the back of uncertainty over the impact of the yuan revaluation. The Hong Kong dollar will maintain its peg to the U.S. dollar.


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