European stocks rally runs out of steam

GMT 15:53 2014 Monday ,03 November

Arab Today, arab today European stocks rally runs out of steam

London Stock Exchange (LSE)
London - AFP

European equities pulled Monday, shedding some of last week's bumper gains as investors took profits and digested weaker-than-expected data, dealers said.
In afternoon trading, London's FTSE 100 index shed 0.48 percent compared with Friday's close to 6,515.30 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 slid 0.35 percent to 9,293.91 points and the Paris CAC 40 dropped 0.65 percent to 4,205.64.
"Across the board, European (equity) markets are lacklustre," said analyst Alastair McCaig at trading firm IG.
"The start of both a new week and new month has seen equities get off to a sluggish start."
The euro had tumbled to $1.2440 in earlier Asian deals, touching the lowest level since August 2012 on expectations of rising US interest rates.
Activity in the eurozone's manufacturing sector nudged higher in October as businesses cut prices, data showed Monday.
The headline measure from data firm Markit's monthly survey of purchasing managers at manufacturers rose to 50.6 from 50.3 in September.
However, the final measure was slightly below the preliminary estimate of 50.7 released in October.
A reading above 50.0 for the Purchasing Managers Index indicates an expansion in activity, while a reading below that level signals a contraction.
Over the weekend, China's official PMI came in at 50.8 in October compared with 51.1 in September, the government said on Saturday, raising concerns about slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy and top energy consumer.
"Sentiment has taken a knock from the weaker PMI figures out of China and the eurozone," analyst Fawad Razaqzada said Monday.
"On top of this, investors are once again growing worried about the political situation in Greece and what it might mean to its future membership in the single currency bloc."
- Asia diverges, US hesitant -
Global equities had surged on Friday as the Bank of Japan's surprise stimulus sent investors on a buying spree.
Markets from Asia to Europe ended last week on a positive note, as the BOJ's decision countered the gloom caused by the end of the Federal Reserve's massive monetary easing programme.
However, Asian markets diverged Monday as traders took a breather after last week's rally, but Shanghai hit a 21-month high on hopes of Chinese stimulus measures after weak manufacturing data.
US stocks opened little changed Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average edging down 0.02 percent to stand at 17,387.82 points after five minutes of trading.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.09 percent to 2,019.40, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite added 0.12 percent at 4,636.33.
- Publicis shares sink -
In company news, Publicis shares sank 2.2 percent to 54.05 euros in Paris, after the French advertising agency snapped up US digital marketing specialists Sapient in a $3.7 billion deal.
Publicis, whose attempts to merge with US group Omnicom and create the world's biggest advertising company failed earlier this year, said it had agreed to pay $25 a share for Boston-based Sapient.
In London, HSBC shares sank 1.4 percent to 630.50 pence after the bank set aside $378 million for a potential fine in Britain to settle allegations of foreign exchange market rigging.
The Asia-focused lender said in a results statement that it had made a "provision of US$378m relating to the estimated liability in connection with the ongoing foreign exchange investigation" by Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulator.
The news comes after rivals Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) last week made huge provisions for possible costs and penalties arising from several probes into suspected price-rigging in the foreign exchange market.
On Monday, Barclays stock sank 0.85 percent to 238.75 pence and RBS fell 1.8 percent to 381.10 pence.
In foreign exchange deals on Monday, the euro later stood at $1.2504, down from $1.2525 in New York late on Friday.
The euro fell to 78.15 British pence from 78.29 pence. The British pound firmed to $1.6001 from $1.5997 on Friday.
On the London Bullion Market, gold prices rose to $1,170.75 an ounce, from $1,164.25 an ounce on Friday.
The precious metal had slumped on Friday to a four-year low of $1,661.16 -- the lowest level since July 2010 -- on the back of the weak dollar.
- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this story -

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