Europe Stocks Fall
European stock markets closed lower on Monday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange Lost 25.10 points, or 0.53%, to close at 4722.80, as the lower dollar put the brakes on any hopes of the FTSE heading into positive territory. BAE Systems suffered the largest drop on the FTSE 100, losing 4.66%, as investors took a negative view of its update regarding the Eurofighter Typhoon program. The company signalled a progressive reduction in its margins as a consequence of a higher volume of lower margin UK Ministry of Defense support activity and a drop in its Saudi operating margins. Pharma stocks were sharply down after the UK's medicines agency tightened warnings on antidepressants. GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca suffered on the news. Smiths Group jumped 2.09% after agreeing to buy privately-owned medical devices firm Medex for $925 million. HSBC said its chairman David Eldon is to retire at its annual general meeting on May 27, 2005, and will be replaced by Vincent Cheng, vice chairman and CEO of Hang Seng Bank since 1998.
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