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Tags: stocks | foreign | exchange | Europe

European Stock Markets Wobble

Monday, 28 October 2013 01:52 PM EDT

European stock markets wobbled on Monday as traders marked time ahead of a key policy meeting of the Federal Reserve this week.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index rose by 0.07 percent to 6,725.82 points, while Frankfurt's DAX 30 slid 0.08 percent to 8,978.65 points. However, the CAC 40 in Paris dropped 0.48 percent to 4,251.61 points.

Trading volume was down in London as heavy storms in Britain kept many dealers away from the office.

"It's been a quiet session today on European markets with a lot of UK traders absent from their desks after last night's worst storm in five years succeeded in shutting down most of southern England's rail system, keeping a lot of people at home," said CMC Markets UK analyst Michael Hewson.

At least eight people died and more than 300,000 homes were left without power on Monday as a fierce storm swept across northern Europe.

Last week global stock markets had won support with traders betting that the Fed will delay winding down its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying stimulus for some time, helping drive the DAX above 9,000 points for the first time.

There had been a widespread belief that it would begin tapering by December at the latest, but analysts say that recent weak U.S. jobs data and this month's government shutdown have made that unlikely.

The broad market consensus is that, in their first meeting with Janet Yellen as the official heir-apparent to chairman Ben Bernanke, the Federal Open Market Committee will opt again to wait for more evidence of economic strength.

The prospect of a continuation of the Fed's pump-priming, which sees vast sums of dollars flooding the financial system, weighed on the greenback last week with the euro reaching a two-year high at $1.3832 on Friday.

On Monday, the euro traded at $1.3788, which compared with $1.3801 late in New York on Friday.

The dollar rose to 97.71 yen from 97.38 on Friday.

The British pound slid to 1.1706 euros and $1.6138.

On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold climbed to $1,361 an ounce from $1,347.75 on Friday.

U.S. stocks rose slightly Monday, gaining little traction from industrial production data or pending home sales data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.12 percent to 15,588.68 points in midday trading.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.22 percent to 1,763.65, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 0.01 percent to 3,943.67.

Industrial production rose by a more-than-expected 0.6 percent in September after a 0.4 percent gain in August, the Federal Reserve said. However, the headline number masked a 0.1 percent gain in manufacturing in September.

Pending home sales fell for a fourth straight month, by 5.6 percent, and for the first time in two years were down from the same month one year previously.

Pierre Martin, an analyst at Saxo Banque in Paris, said the results had pretty much canceled each other out for investors.

"The markets prefer to lift the foot off the pedal and wait for stronger catalysts later in the week" such as the Fed meeting on Wednesday, he said.

Asian markets rose Monday following a record close Friday on Wall Street and as investors picked up bargains after broad losses last week.

Tokyo jumped 2.19 percent, Sydney climbed 1.02 percent while Seoul rose 0.68 percent.

Shanghai ended flat while Hong Kong added 0.48 percent.

On the corporate front, British security services firm G4S said it had rejected a bid of 1.55 billion pounds for its unit responsible for transporting and storing cash and valuables on behalf of businesses.

G4S revealed that it had last week received an offer for its cash solutions business, equivalent to $2.51 billion or 1.81 billion euros, from British private-equity group Charterhouse Capital Partners.

Shares in G4S slid 0.5 percent to 257.20 pence.

In Paris, shares in French nuclear group Areva shot up 3.8 percent to 16.74 euros after it announced a partnership to explore two uranium deposits in Mongolia.

Shares in PSA Peugeot Citroen tumbled 5.8 percent to 9.38 after Chinese newspaper reports its partner there Dongfeng was studying the "rationality" of coming to the aid of the troubled French automaker.

© AFP 2022

European stock markets wobbled on Monday as traders marked time ahead of a key policy meeting of the Federal Reserve this week.
Monday, 28 October 2013 01:52 PM
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