21 Aug 2008

Commodity gains lift European stocks

6:57 am on 21 August 2008

European shares were lifted a little by commodity stocks on Wednesday.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended up 0.51% at 1,165.31 points. The index fell 2.5% on Tuesday.

Germany's DAX rose 0.6% and France's CAC was up 0.8%.

European stocks are down some 22% this year.

In Britain, the FTSE 100 closed up 51.4 points, 1%, at 5,371.8, after losing 3.2% in the previous three sessions. The index is down nearly 17% for the year to date.

Miners held onto earlier gains after metal prices eased in late trade. Energy stocks also rose even though crude oil prices slipped in late session.

Stocks in the United States were little changed on Wednesday.

By midday, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 9.12 points, or 0.08%, at 11,357.67.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up by 0.18 point, or 0.01%, at 1,266.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 1.23 points, or 0.05%, at 2,383.13.

NZ market

The New Zealand sharemarket finished on a higher note on Wednesday, as the NZX 50 index rose seven points to 3326 on turnover of $73 million.

Telecom was up 7 cents to $3.29, Contact Energy was down 7c to $8.56 and Fletcher Building was up 15c to $6.95.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances was unchanged at $1.88.

Sky Network Television was down 8c to $4.95 after posting a 26% increase in profit to $97.7 million.

Tourism Holdings was down 1c to $1.41 after profit rose 7% to $14.3 million in the year to June.

PGG Wrightson was up 11c to $2.95 after making a full-year profit of $73.2 million on Tuesday. New Zealand Oil & Gas was down 3c to $1.45.

The dollar was buying US71.50 cents, 81.93 Australian cents, 38.30 pence, 78.56 yen and 0.4842 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was 66.49.

The Australian sharemarket closed firmly in the black. The S&P/ASX200 was up 63.1 points, or 1.3%, to 4929.5, while the All Ordinaries gained 67.1 points, or 1.36%, to 4997.5.

The September share price index futures contract gained 20 points to 4,882.