european stocks mixed investors eye wall st return
Last Updated : GMT 10:30:02
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European stocks mixed, investors eye Wall St return

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today European stocks mixed, investors eye Wall St return

London - AFP

Europe\'s main stock markets diverged on Tuesday as investors awaited the return of Wall Street after a three-day holiday weekend, and tracked the latest takeover talk doing the rounds. In midday deals, London\'s FTSE 100 index of top shares added 0.23 percent to 6,031.29 points and Frankfurt\'s DAX 30 gained 0.25 percent to 7,461.87. On the downside, in Paris the CAC 40 index fell 0.34 percent to 3,989.70 points and the Stoxx 50 index of leading eurozone companies dipped 0.23 percent to 2,863.55. \"There is little change to the FTSE 100... With US markets set to re-open this afternoon following yesterday\'s holiday, most traders are waiting for this before making any major decisions,\" said analyst Ben Critchely at traders IG Index. New York\'s financial markets will reopen for business after closing for the Independence Day on July 4. The top gainer in London, meanwhile, was British household products and drugs group Reckitt Benckiser. Reckitt shares leapt by 2.18 percent to 3,565 pence in midday trading on the FTSE 100 index, as investors were gripped by takeover bid speculation, dealers said. \"The UK consumer goods firm has been the subject of bid talk for quite some time, with some press mentioning its bigger rival Proctor & Gamble as a potential suitor,\" said Giles Watts, head of equities at City Index. \"It remains to be seen as to whether any definitive bid may come from the rumours but certainly investors remain hopeful that the sector may be primed for consolidation.\" Meanwhile, markets pored over a key growth indicator which showed that private sector activity in the eurozone was weaker than forecast in June, hitting 20-month low level with recoveries slowing in Germany and France. The data showed that output fell in Italy and Spain while Ireland continued to record a \"very modest\" pace of expansion, according to the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) leading indicator compiled by research firm Markit. The PMI, a survey of 4,500 companies in service and manufacturing in the 17-nation eurozone, fell to 53.3 points in June from 55.8 in May. A first estimate last month had forecast 53.6 points for June. Despite the fall, however, the index remains above the 50-point mark indicating growth. Asian stock markets also traded mixed earlier on Tuesday, with optimism after recent strong gains tempered by fresh concerns over Greece\'s debt crisis. With Wall Street closed Monday for Independence Day, many bourses were subdued. Sydney was unmoved by the Australian central bank\'s decision to hold interest rates, citing global economy concerns and eurozone woes. Seoul rose 0.77 percent and Tokyo was flat, while Shanghai rose 0.13 percent, Sydney dropped 0.27 percent and Hong Kong fell 0.10 percent. Asian equities had posted broad gains Monday and at the end of last week after Athens agreed to austerity measures that meant it could avoid a default in July -- a situation many feared could have led to another global financial shock. However, ratings agency Standard & Poor\'s on Monday warned that proposals aimed at helping Greece through its financial turmoil with a new bailout could still amount to a selective default.

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