Asian Markets Higher, Europe Mixed

European stock markets ended mixed on Monday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 gained 9.20 points, or 0.19%, to close at 4803.10. The index finished flat as Wall Street paused in New York morning trade after two days of gains. Vodafone edged up 0.3% ahead of its first-half of the year trading update tomorrow. Along with mm02, it is expected to return cash to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks this week. Talk of a bid for mm02 from Telefonica resurfaced over the weekend but both companies declined comment.

Online travel agent fell 3.4%, after it forecast third quarter profits of of 1.3 million pounds, vs 1.0 million pounds and said fourth-quarter trading remains satisfactory with the recovery of the European mid- and long-haul travel market set to continue through 2005.

In Germany, the DAX lost 9.01 points, or 0.22%, to close at 4134.34. Frankfurt followed NY lower. German stocks pared early gains. Linde slid 1.24, as UBS and DrKW cut targets and downgraded their recommendations on the stock. RWE slipped 0.86% after CEO Harry Roels said in the Financial Times that the utility is planning a number of acquisitions. Infineon gained 1.05% after iSuppli said global sales of semiconductors will grow by 9.6% next year. Siemens gave up earlier gains despite announcing it has won orders worth $100 million to expand the networks of two wireless operators in China.

France's CAC-40 lost 14.14 points, or 0.37%, to close at 3820.97 The CAC40 ended 0.37% lower on Monday, after a fairly subdued day's trading.

Asian markets ended mostly higher on Monday, buoyed by solid gains on Wall Street on Friday and on easing oil price concerns. Japan's Nikkei average rose, 207.59, or 1.88%, to 11227.57 on the back of broad gains. Japan's Elpida Memory made a solid debut today, finishing at 3750 yen versus its IPO price of 3500 yen. UFJ Holdings rose 2.87% following news that it and Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group have approached unlisted JCB Co. about a tie-up with their credit card operations. Shares of Nikon Corp. leapt almost 5% after the company raised its first-half forecast.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 147.76 points, or 1.07%, to close at 13,932.22, led up by gains in financials, properties, and tech names.

Canada's benchmark TSX/S&P gained 40.85 points, or 0.46%, to close at 8,937.22.

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