Sun, Nov 28, 2004 - Page 10 News List

European investors try to secure profits

AFP , LONDON

European stock markets fell on Friday as investors banked profits before the weekend, the dollar fell to new lows and Wall Street chalked up a half day of mixed trading after the Thanksgiving holiday.

The London FTSE 100 index dropped 0.25 percent to 4,741.50 points, the Frankfurt DAX 30 slid 0.15 percent to 4,154.27 points and the Paris CAC 40 lost 0.41 percent to 3,782.20.

The DJ Euro STOXX 50 index of leading eurozone shares declined 0.18 percent to 2,904.16.

It was the fourth straight day that the euro had set record highs against the US dollar, which is suffering from concerns about the massive US current account and budget deficits.

"Investors seek to secure recent gains ahead of the weekend, given uncertainties about further dollar weakness and the effect on future corporate profits," said Frederic Boissel, an analyst at Global Equities in Paris.

New York turned in a half day of trading following the Thanksgiving holiday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average edging up 0.02 percent to 10,522.68 points and the tech-rich NASDAQ index off 0.03 percent at 2,102.

Tokyo's benchmark NIKKEI-225 index closed 0.61 percent lower at 10,833.75 points in cautious trade on continued concerns that the yen's rampant surge against the dollar could hurt exports, the driver for the country's recovery, dealers said.

The dollar fell to ?102.15 in Tokyo on Friday afternoon, a near five-year low point.

Hong Kong's key Hang Seng Index closed 0.23 percent lower at 13,895.03 points, giving up early gains on profit-taking ahead of the weekend, dealers said.

In London, Royal Dutch/Shell was in focus, losing 0.22 percent to ?4.4725 after the oil major delayed to June from April its vote on a switch to a single board structure, because of likely further revisions to its reserves estimates.

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