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European equities markets lower

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by Elaine Frei

Equities markets in Europe were lower on Thursday on concerns about the state of the US economy and as the European Central Bank held interest rates level but issued comments strongly indicating that rates would be raised at its December meeting.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 closed down 0.4 percent to 1,443.94, while both the Xetra Dax in Germany and the Paris index dropped 1.1 percent, to 6,223.33 and 5,310.07 respectively.

Most banks saw declines. Credit Suisse was an exception, adding 2.3 percent to SFr76.65 on a quarterly report that beat expectations. Elsewhere, UBS fell 1.1 percent to SFr74.10 and Deutsche Bank dropped 1.9 percent to €96.70. The largest bank in Norway, DnB Nor, was 2.9 percent lower to NKr83.70 after it said its pre-tax profits dropped by 1.5 percent.

The oil sector was lower as crude oil prices continue their decline. Cepsa dropped 0.5 percent to €61.85, while Statoil was 1.2 percent lower to NKr165.50

The steel sector also saw losses, with ThyssenKrupp down 1.7 percent to €29.34 and Mittal Steel dropping 3.2 percent to €32.72.

Tire manufacturer Continental was 0.6 percent higher to €87.50 on positive broker comments from Citigroup and Merrill Lynch.

Metrovacesa added 2.9 percent to €120 after it reported that net profits were up by 176 percent in the first nine months of the year. The Spanish property group’s gains were attributed to domestic growth as well as growth in its French unit.

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News posted: November 2, 2006

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