1 Jul 2009

FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 1.1%

6:14 am on 1 July 2009

European shares fell on Tuesday after consumer confidence readings in the United States were weaker than expected.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares fell 1.1% to 850.17 points. However, the index rose 15.9% over the second quarter - its best performance since 1999.

US consumer confidence fell in June after two consecutive months of gains. The Conference Board said on Tuesday its index of consumer attitudes dropped to 49.3 from 54.8 in May.

BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Societe Generale fell between 1.7% - 2.9%. Lloyds Banking Group fell 0.9% after announcing 2100 job cuts.

Crude oil prices fell more than 3% to less than $US69.30 per barrel. The price of copper and other metals was also hurt by the fall in consumer confidence.

In Frankfurt, the DAX index ended at 4,808.64 points, down 76.45 or 1.56%.

In Paris, the CAC-40 index closed at 3,140.44 points, down 53.24 or 1.67%. The Swiss market index closed at 5,403.97 points, down 39.48 or 0.73%.

In London, the FTSE 100 closed at 4,249.21 points, 1%, down 44.82 or 1.04%.

Other markets

In Japan, the Nikkei ended up 174.97 points, 1.8%, at 9,958.44, after briefly rising to as high as 10,000.

In Hong Kong , the Hang Seng Index finished down 0.81% at 18,378.73, but added 1.1% in its fourth consecutive month of gains in June.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 68 points, 1.8%, to a two-week closing high of 3,954.9 points. The All Ordinaries index advanced 65.1 points, or 1.68%, to 3,947.8 points.

In New Zealand, the NZX50 index was up 20 points, or 0.7%, to 2796 on turnover of $100 million.

Top stocks surged except Telecom, which was down 1 cent to $2.73. Fletcher Building jumped 20c to $6.58, while Contact Energy rose 10c to $5.85.

The New Zealand dollar was trading at 65.15 US cents, 80.5 Australian cents, 39.21 pence, 62.4 yen and 0.4619 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 61.27.