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European stock markets gained on Monday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 was closed for a bank holiday.

Germany's DAX gained 35.45 points, or 0.83%, to close at 4291.53. The benchmark ended its first session of 2005 comfortably higher even though Wall Street's early rally faded after weaker-than-expected construction spending. Locally, Karstadt and Metro gained 5.14% and 2.64% respectively on news that German retailers saw business bounce in the week after Christmas and turnover for the last two months of last year surpass revenues for the same period in 2003 by about 1 billion euro, or 1.3%. The figures were disclosed by the HDE retail association to Der Tagesspiegel am Sonntag. VW is sending a team of officials to India's Andhra Pradesh to seal a deal to set up a car plant. The German government will transfer 12% of its shares in Deutsche Post to state bank KfW early next week, aiming to raise some 1.7 billion euro from the deal, reported FAZ. Deutsche Boerse is willing to compromise on every aspect of its bid for the London Stock Exchange, the Financial Times said. It is mulling the spin-off of the Clearstream settlement unit and is willing to negotiate on price, with the indicative bid seen being raised by more than 70 pence per share to over 6.00 pounds. Looking ahead to tomorrow, Germany's unemployment rate for December, U.S. vehicle sales for December and U.S. November factory orders are key reports due out for release.

In France, the CAC-40 gained 34.52 points, or 0.90%, to close at 3821.16. The French benchmark index gained ground even though Wall Street turned mixed as a drop in the employment component of December ISM and an unexpected fall in November construction spending offset a steep slide in oil prices. Locally, financials, cyclicals and techs were all broadly higher. Thomson benefitted from reports it might become the third-largest global TV maker on possible Chinese deal. Scor and AXA recovered with the European insurance sector on reports the industry expects $10 billion bill from the Asian tsunami, much lower than the $27 billion from last summer's hurricanes. Euronext was amongst a few fallers on reports rival Deutsche Boerse is prepared to compromise on nearly every aspect of its bid for the London Stock Exchange, according to the Financial Times.

Asian markets were flat on Monday. In Japan, the Nikkei was closed on Monday for a bank holiday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was flat amid lack of fresh leads on the first trading day of 2005. The index gained 7.28 pints, or 0.05%, to close at 14,237.42.

Canada's benchmark TSX/S&P was closed on Monday for the New Years' holiday.

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