8 Aug 2008

Europe shares dip

6:52 am on 8 August 2008

European shares ended down slightly after a choppy session on Thursday.

As expected, both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England left their respective interest rates on hold, at 4.25% and 5% respectively. The ECB signalled it was unlikely to raise euro zone rates again soon.

The euro slid to a new seven week-low against the dollar.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended down 0.3% at 1,190.06 points.

However, there was a weak start to trade on Wall Street.

Around Europe: Frankfurt's DAX was down 0.3% and Paris's CAC 40 edged up 0.2%.

In Britain, the FTSE 100 lost 8.6 points or 0.16% to close at 5,477.5. The index gained 0.6% in the previous session.?

NZ & Australian markets up

The New Zealand sharemarket rose 27 points to close at 3379 on turnover of $97 million on Thursday.

Telecom was unchanged at $3.68. Contact Energy rose 7 cents to $8.60, and Fletcher Building was up 19c to $6.80.

Sky City Entertainment was up 4c to $3.62, while The Warehouse dropped 4c to $3.41.

New Zealand Oil & Gas was up 2c to $1.57.

Tower was down 1c to $2.10 after losing a 15-year-old venture with ANZ and National Bank.

In the currency markets: at 5.50am on Friday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at US71.46 cents, 78.73 Australian cents, 36.74 pence, 78.22 yen and 0.4661 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 65.12.

The Australian share closed marginally firmer. At 1615 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 14.2 points, or 0.29%, to 4983.3, while the broader All Ordinaries climbed 11.9 points, or 0.24%, to 5030.

The September share price index futures contract was down three points to 4967 on a volume of 19,140 contracts.

Total market turnover was 1.35 billion shares worth $A5.44 billion.

Japan shares down

Japanese share prices closed down 0.98% on Thursday. The Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark Nikkei-225 index lost 129.90 points to end at 13,124.99.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares fell 18.46 points or 1.45% to 1,258.81.