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European Markets Summary

London Stocks Close Marginally Higher

FTSE 100 ends 0.3% higher at 5666.28, eking out small gains as investors weigh better-than-expected US retail sales against signs of a slowdown in US manufacturing and worries about Spain. International Power ends +3.2% after GDF Suez sweetens its bid for the shares it doesn’t already own. “We could be in for a week of chop at best,” says IG Index. “With those European concerns hanging over markets, there should be some volatile days ahead. But it seems unlikely that shares are going to enjoy the same sort of momentum seen in the first quarter of the year,” it adds. Tuesday, UK CPI is at 0830 GMT.

Frankfurt Stocks End Slightly Higher

DAX ends 0.6% higher at 6625.19, supported by favorable US March retail sales, says a trader. Still, the session proves volatile with the market continuing to fret over Europe’s sovereign debt woes ahead of a Spanish treasury bill auction Tuesday. Also in the next session, the market will eye Germany’s ZEW economic sentiment and EU harmonized CPI at 0900 GMT, plus ECB President Draghi’s speech at a Frankfurt conference and US housing starts at 1230 GMT.

Paris Stocks End Slightly Higher

CAC-40 closes 0.5% higher at 3205.28, bouncing back slightly after a 2.5% decline Friday. “Investors are bargain-hunting, making the most of lower prices to buy shares,” says a Paris-based trader. GDF Suez ends 2.9% higher after the company reaches an agreement to buy International Power. Danone ends +2.6% ahead of Tuesday’s 1Q sales report. Banks lose ground amid investor caution in the run-up to France’s presidential elections; Credit Agricole down 4.8%, BNP Paribas off 4.6%, Societe Generale 4% adrift.

Amsterdam Stocks End Session Flat

Amsterdam stocks end flat amid fresh worries about debt levels, especially on Spain with government bond yields above 6%. AEX ends less than 0.1% lower at 306.02, with moves of around 1.5% for Unilever and Heineken on the upside and more than 2% for ING and TomTom on the down, with Air France-KLM at the far end with a 4.3% loss.

Zurich Stocks End Slightly Higher

SMI closes 0.9% higher at 6124.91, breaking its recent run of losses, boosted by strong performances from heavyweight defensives. Richemont is the biggest gainer, up 2%, followed by Roche, 1.9% ahead. Novartis rises 1.1%, and Nestle ends 0.7% higher. On the downside, Swiss Life falls 1.5%, with UBS off 1.3%. Traders say there has been a feeling that there was some overselling last week, although confidence remains fragile. Attention this week turns to Actelion, which is scheduled to report 1Q earnings Thursday, and Nestle due to give details of its 1Q sales Friday.

Nordic Stocks Little Changed At Close

Nordic equity markets end the session with small changes as persistent worries over Spanish debt weigh on sentiment while investors draw some confidence from upbeat US retail sales. OMXN40 ends 0.7% higher at 970.74, OBX flat at 382.20. Vestas surges 13% amid media reports that two Chinese peers are mulling a joint takeover bid. Continued focus Tuesday on Spanish debt; eyes also on earnings from a string of major US companies.

Prague Stocks End Firmly Lower

PX closes 1.2% lower at 919.3, weighed down by blue chips continuing declines from last week, a trader says. CEZ and Erste both end down 2.2%. CEZ, finishes the session at CZK755.5, seems to be holding above its previous support level of CZK750, the trader adds. Komercni Banka ends 0.8% lower and may come under pressure later this week as the stock goes ex-dividend Tuesday. NWR ends off 0.8% too, after reporting a fall in 2Q sale prices of coke and coking coal.

 

StockMarketNews Research Team

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