Europe Stock Markets Slip

Japan's Nikkei index surged on broad-based buying, while the Hang Seng index retreated

European stock markets finished with small losses Monday. London's FTSE 100 index was down 3.6 points, or 0.08%, to 4,502.2. A lack of major economic or earnings news provided little impetus to move prices. Lloyds TSB was weaker after this morning's trading update provided no catalysts for analysts to upgrade earnings forecasts. The bank noted a decline in net interest margin from the second half of 2003. Royal & Sun (+4%) bucked the trend among financials on news it is in talks to sell the UK Life operations. Traders noted profit-taking in the telco sector.

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