24 Jun 2009

Europe stocks close lower

5:31 am on 24 June 2009

European shares fell to their lowest close in nearly six weeks on Tuesday, due to sluggish data on home sales in the United States.

An industry survey showed sales of previously owned homes rose at a slower-than-expected pace in May.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares fell 0.4 percent to 833.67 points - the lowest close since 13 May.

Banking and insurance sectors were down the most. BNP Paribas, Banco Santander, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered fell between 1.7% - 3.4%.

In Frankfurt, the DAX index ended at 4,707.15 points, up 13.75 or 0.29%.

In Paris, the CAC-40 index closed at 3,116.82 points, down 6.43 or 0.21%. The Swiss market index closed at 5,321.31 points, up 10.94 or 0.21%.

In London, the FTSE 100 fell 4.03 points, 0.1%, to 4,230.02 in a choppy session, after losing 2.6% on Monday.

Other markets

In Japan, the Nikkei lost 276.66 points, 2.8%, to 9,549.61.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index finished down 521.18 points, 2.9%, at 17,538.37.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 121.3 points, 3.1%, to 3,796.9. The All Ordinaries fell 117.8 points, or 3.01%, to 3793.

In New Zealand, the NZX50 index was down 32 points, or 1.2%, to close at 2763 on turnover of $58 million.

At 5.20pm on Tuesday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 62.77 US cents, 80.11 Australian cents, 38.42 pence, 59.78 yen and 0.4527 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 59.74.