Sun, Aug 27, 2006 - Page 10 News List

European markets close mixed ahead of Bernanke speech


European stock markets closed mixed on Friday in directionless trading, mirroring a similar trend on Wall Street, dealers said.

Investors had waited most of the day for a speech by US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke who had been expected to provide clues about the outlook for US interest rates -- a key concern of the market.

Speaking in the US state of Wyoming, Bernanke said that international terrorism was a threat to globalization, but made no reference to monetary policy.

On the main European markets, the London FTSE 100 index closed up 0.16 at 5,878.60 points, in Paris the CAC 40 fell 0.03 percent to 5,111.13 while in Frankfurt the DAX lost 0.04 percent to close at 5,811.47 points.

The DJ Euro STOXX 50 index of leading eurozone shares fell 0.02 percent to 3,781.17 points.

US stocks held in a narrow range Friday amid a dearth of economic news, with traders seemingly unwilling to take new positions ahead of a late summer weekend.

In London, miners and banks led the FTSE 100. Britain's fifth-biggest retail bank Lloyds TSB gained 0.57 percent to ?5.26 owing to speculation that it could face a takeover bid.

Other banks gained on positive broker comments, with Barclays climbing 0.85 percent to ?6.4950 and HBOS gaining 0.69 percent to ?9.49.

Miners meanwhile gained on a rebound for commodities prices, with the share price of Anglo American progressing 0.68 percent to ?23.58.

Elsewhere in Europe, in Madrid the IBEX-35 fell 0.11 percent to 12,042.9 points, in Brussels the BEL 20 gained 0.03 percent to 3,887.71 points and in Amsterdam the AEX gained 0.30 percent to 465.14 points.

In Italy, the SP/MIB gained 0.12 percent to 37,718 points.

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