14 Feb 2009

Europe stocks close up

7:35 am on 14 February 2009

European stocks closed higher on Friday, although British banks slid after Lloyds Banking Group posted a big loss at its HBOS unit.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares was 0.6% higher at 796.5 points.

Lloyds slumped 32.4% after announcing its HBOS subsidiary lost about Stg 8.5 billion ($US12.28 billion) last year, while its Lloyds TSB unit made a profit of about Stg 1.3 billion.

More than 216 million Lloyds shares changed hands, compared with a daily average of 65.9 million in the past 30 trading days.

Barclays, Societe Generale, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered fell between 3.1% - 9.2%.

Oil companies rose: Total gained 1.5% and Royal Dutch Shell rose 2.2% as crude oil gained 5.8% to trade at just under $US36 per barrel.

In Frankfurt, the DAX index ended at 4,413.39 points, up 5.83 or 0.13%. In Paris, the CAC-40 index closed at 2,997.86 points, up 33.52 or 1.13%.

The Swiss market index closed at 5,126.84 points, up 20.17 or 0.39%.

In Britain, the FTSE 100 closed 12.65 points lower, 0.3%, at 4,189.59. The index is down 5.5% for the year to date after falling more than 31% last year.

Other markets

In Japan, the Nikkei rose 74.04 points, 0.3%, to 7,779.40.

In Hong Kong, shares ended 2.47% higher after a two-day slump. The Hang Seng Index ended the day 326.37 points higher at 13,554.67.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 44.8 points to 3,559.1 - its highest close since 19 January. The index rose 89.2 points on the week. The All Ordinaries gained 38.2 points, or 1.1% to 3,496.7

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd was up 9% after quashing speculation about a possible capital raising.

In New Zealand, the NZX50 index was flat at 2750 on low turnover of $67 million.

The dollar was at 52.44 US cents, 79.66 Australian cents, 36.47 pence, 47.74 yen and point 4056 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 52.84.