Fiat up on plan to buy GM European holdings

| May 4, 2009
Fiat up on plan to buy GM European holdings

European markets saw gains Monday after Italian carmaker Fiat (BIT: F) announced a plan to buy into troubled US carmaker General Motors (NYSE: GM).

Fiat’s shares were up 8.1 percent on the plan to take over GM’s European operations, just a few days after it agreed to buy into Chrysler, which filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States last week.

The news left the rest of the European automobile manufacturing sector mixed as Renault (Euronext: RNO) added 6.84 percent and truck maker Man (FWB: EDF1) was up 7.02 percent but Volkswagen (FWB: VOW) dropped 1.77 percent.

London’s markets were closed for a public holiday, but the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.48 percent to 841.94 while the IBEX added 0.41 percent to 9,074.7, the CAC-40 was 2.47 percent higher to 3,237.97 and the Dax gained 2.79 to 4,902.45.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were significantly higher on optimism that trade and manufacturing in the region could be starting to recover.

The Kospi added 2.09 percent to 1,397.92 in South Korea, while in Australia the Sydney Ordinaries gained 2.89 percent to 3,846 and the S&P/ASX200 was up 3.01 percent to 3,883.

The Shanghai Composite was up 3.32 percent to 2,559.91, the Hang Seng added 5.54 percent to 16,381.05, and the Taiex was 5.64 percent higher to 6,330.4 on continuing hopes that new rules will entice mainland Chinese investment in Taiwan.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index was up 5.65 percent to 2,028.71 while India’s Sensex gained 6.41 percent to 12,134.75.

Tokyo’s markets were closed for a holiday observance.

Wall Street saw gains in midday trade as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were each 1.85 percent higher at just past 12:30 p.m., to 8,364.3 and 893.77 respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite had added 1.41 percent to 1,743.38.

Crude oil and metals prices were higher, but grains prices were mixed on the Chicago Board of Trade.

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