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August 30, 2010    

French auto parts maker Valeo leads decline of car-related shares

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by Elaine Frei
French auto parts maker Valeo leads decline of car-related shares

European markets saw declines Monday as investors continued to worry about the recovery from recession and even though an index of executive and consumer sentiment in the Eurozone was up to 101.8 in August from 101.1 in July and against a forecast that it would be at 101.6 for the month.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 0.03 percent lower to 1,025.96, while the IBEX fell 0.12 percent to 10,136, the CAC-40 was 0.58 percent lower to 3,487.01 and the Dax dropped 0.65 percent to 5,912.41 and had only four gainers on the session.

London markets were closed for a holiday.

Carmakers and related companies were mostly lower, led by a decline of 2.4 percent for French auto parts maker Valeo (Euronext: FR) on the CAC Next 20 and a 2 percent drop for tire manufacturer Michelin (Euronext: ML), which was down 2 percent for the worst performance of the session on the CAC-40.

Renault (Euronext: RNO) fell 1.34 percent in Paris while Volkswagen (FWB: VOW) and BMW (FWB: BMW) was down 1.33 percent in Frankfurt, but French automobile maker Peugeot (Euronext: UG) bucked the trend to add 0.24 percent.

Infineon Technologies (FWB: IFX) turned in the worst performance on the Dax, dropping 3.69 percent after US-based Intel Corp (NAS: INTC) said it will buy Infineon’s wireless unit.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher Monday.

The Nikkei 225 ended 1.76 percent higher to 9,149.26 in Tokyo, but had gained as much as 3 percent earlier in the session, with late-day declines coming after investors were disappointed by an announcement that the Bank of Japan will expand a bank-loan program by ¥10 trillion to ¥30 trillion but will not immediately take any new initiatives to help economic recovery in Japan.

The Topix index was up 1.17 percent to 829.21, while the Mothers market gained 0.64 percent to 368.76.

Most carmakers were higher, with Nissan Motors (TYO: 7201) adding 0.5 percent while Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) was up 1.6 percent, but Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) ended the session 0.4 percent lower.

Conglomerate Toshiba (TYO: 6502), which makes semiconductors among its many interests, was up 1 percent, while camera and copier maker Canon (TYO: 7751) was up 2.4 percent, printer and semiconductor components manufacturer Kyocera (TYO: 6971) was 2.6 percent higher and chipmaker Elpida memory (TYO: 6665) gained 3 percent.

Australian markets were higher as the Sydney Ordinaries added 1.79 percent to 4,483.1 and the S&P/ASX200 gained 1.89 percent to 4,452.7 as miners saw gains.

India’s Sensex was up 0.19 percent to 18,032.11, the Taiex added 0.24 percent to 7,741.2 in Taiwan, Singapore’s Straits Times Index was 0.62 percent higher to 2,957.06, the Hang Seng was up 0.68 percent to 20,737.22 in Hong Kong and the Shanghai Composite gained 1.61 percent to 2,652.66.

In South Korea, the Kospi added 1.77 percent to 1,760.13 as developers gained after the government said it will loosen mortgage lending rules and widen tax breaks in order to stimulate the property market.

New York markets were lower in midday trade after the US Commerce Department reported that personal income in the US rose less than expected in July, adding 0.2 percent rather than the 0.3 percent that was expected by analysts.

Personal spending was reported up 0.4 percent, but analysts dom’t believe that spending will continue to rise unless conditional improve.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.65 percent to 10,085.64 at just past 12:30 p.m. in New York, while the S&P 500 had dropped 0.68 percent to 1,057.32 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.73 percent lower to 2,137.83.

Crude oil prices were down in midday trade in New York, but metals prices were higher.

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