2 Sep 2008

Europe stocks end lower

10:12 am on 2 September 2008

European shares ended lower on Monday as commodity stocks and banking shares fell.

Commerzbank on Sunday announced a $US14.5 billion deal to buy Allianz's Dresdner Bank unit. However, investors consider the acquisition was overpriced.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed down 0.45% at 1,189.35 points. The index is down 21% to date this year.

Across Europe: Germany's DAX fell 0.01% and France's CAC was down 0.2%.

In Britain, the FTSE 100 closed down 33.8 points, 0.6%, at 5,602.8.

Wall Street is closed for the Labor Day holiday.

On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 171.63 points, or 1.47%, at 11,543.55.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 17.85 points, or 1.37%, at 1,282.83. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 44.12 points, or 1.83%, at 2,367.52.

US crude fell $US4.24 in electronic trading to $US111.22 a barrel by 2120 GMT on Monday. London Brent crude settled down $US4.64 at $US109.41 a barrel.

NZ & Australian markets also lower

The New Zealand sharemarket rose 4 points to close at 3358 on turnover of $56 million on Monday.

Telecom was down 4 cents to $3.23. Contact Energy was unchanged at $8.36 and Fletcher Building fell 28c to $7.20.

Sky City Entertainment rose 12c to $3.72 and Sky Network Television was up 8c to $4.93.

Auckland International Airport Ltd was down 1c to $2.11. PGG Wrightson was also down 1c to $2.73 after announcing that it plans to supply fuel for farmers.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was up 1c to $3.16, while Fisher & Paykel Appliances also rose 1c to $1.77.

In the currency markets: at 8.20am on Tuesday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at US69.61 cents, 81.86 Australian cents, 38.63 pence, 75.31 yen and 0.4765 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 65.27.

The Australian share market also closed marginally lower. At 1615 AEST the S&P/ASX200 was down 17.3 points, or 0.34%, to 5118.3, while the broader All Ordinaries fell 15.5 point, or 0.3%, to 5200.

The September share price index futures contract was down eight points to 5136 on a volume of 15,429 contracts.

Japanese indexes down

Share prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed down 1.83% on Monday, ending below the 13,000-point level.

The Nikkei-225 index fell 238.69 points to 12,834.18.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares was down 24.07 points or 1.92% to 1,230.64.