Sun, Jul 17, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Fortunes mixed on European stock markets


Traders at the German stock exchange in Frankfurt/Main stop working on Thursday to observe a two-minute silence in remembrance of the victims of the London terror attacks.


European stock markets had mixed fortunes on Friday, with sentiment in London dampened by a weaker oil sector and strengthened in Paris on positive US economic data.

The London FTSE 100 index fell 0.55 percent to 5,230.8 while in Paris the CAC 40 edged up 0.07 percent to 4,373.77. The Frankfurt DAX added 0.29 percent to end the week at 4,712.90.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of leading eurozone shares gained 0.05 percent to close at 3,278.71.

On the currency market the dollar maintained its upward path against the euro after economic reports in the US on industrial production, consumer confidence, manufacturing and wholesale inflation reassured the market that the world's biggest economy remains strong.

In late trade, the euro was quoted at US$1.2037 from US$1.2079 on Thursday evening.

US stocks drifted lower Friday a day after the broad market hit a four-year high, with investors digesting a fresh batch of economic reports and earnings from General Electric.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.12 percent to 10,615.59 while the tech-heavy NASDAQ index fell 0.18 percent to 2,148.87 at 3:50pm GMT.

The backdrop was positive after news that producer prices were flat in June and US industrial production rose 0.9 percent, both better than forecasts had indicated.

A report on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan was also positive. The sentiment index, a gauge of likely consumer spending, improved to 96.5 in July from 96.0 in June.

"We had a good inflation number today but we've been up a number of days in a row now. The market is technically in need of a little consolidation," said Barry Hyman, equity market strategist at Ehrenkrantz King Nussbaum.

In London the oil and mining sectors were the day's principal losers, notably as fears lessened that Hurricane Emily would cause major disruptions in the Gulf of Mexico and thereby trigger a sharp spike in oil prices.

BG group gave up 2.45 percent to reach ?4.5775, BP fell 1.12 percent to close at ?6.1850 and Shell slipped 1.46 percent to ?5.41.

Mining shares were also under pressure in the face of weaker prices, notably for gold.

Rio Tinto gave up two percent to finish at ?17.65, while BHP Billiton fell 1.64 percent to ?7.48.

In Paris oil group Total lost 0.96 percent to reach 205.80 euros. The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) gained 1.70 percent to 26.91 euros on a prediction by the UBS bank that deliveries by its Airbus unit would continue to grow over the next two years, reaching a peak in 2007.

In Frankfurt industrial conglomerate Siemens led the way, rising 1.27 percent to 63.88 euros following publication of strong quarterly results from US rival General Electric.

Lower gasoline prices helped the auto sector. DaimlerChrysler added 0.69 percent to reach 34.88 euros while Volkswagen, which had lost ground this week on cost-cutting plans that disappointed analysts, edged up 0.89 percent to 40.60 euros.

Elsewhere there were declines of 0.21 percent to 9,943.8 on the IBEX-35 in Madrid, 0.46 percent to 33,164 on the SP/MIB in Milan and 0.18 percent to 3,164.31 on BEL-20 in Brussels.

Prices were unchanged at 393.68 on the AEX in Amsterdam. The Swiss Market Index rose 0.17 percent to 6,459.91.

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