Europe, Asia Lower

European markets were lower on quiet Pentecostal holiday trading; Japan's Nikkei closed lower Monday ahead of tommorrow's first-quarter GDP data

European stock markets were lower on Monday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index slipped 2.30 points to 4884.20 in a quiet Pentecostal holiday trading of 1.105 billion shares. 49 FTSE stocks rose and 47 fell. Yields on 10-year gilts were flat at 4.36%. The sterling was off at $1.8371. BP and Shell Transport lower as June Brent crude oil futures slipped. William Hill fell after agreeing to buy Stanley Leisure Plc's betting shops for 504 million pounds. Hilton Group fell. Pearson lost ground after UBS cut its recommendation on the stock to "reduce" from "neutral". Steelmaker Corus rose on news China's imports of steel products rose to a one-year high in April.

In Germany, the DAX lost 13.52 points to 4262.18, slowed by the Pentecost holiday. 19 DAX stocks fell and 11 rose. Yields on 10-year Bunds fell to 3.30% from 3.31% Friday. The euro rose to $1.2631. Schering skidded after new data from trial on its colon cancer medicine PTK confirmed the pill didn't stop tumor growth. E.ON and RWE lost ground after Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported German utilities may have to spend billions of euros for new electricity lines.

France's CAC 40 slipped 6.91 points to 4010.98 but 23 CAC stocks rose and 16 fell on turnover of 68,534,000 shares. Yields of 10-year bonds were flat at 3.35%. Total SA slipped as crude oil futures prices fell for fourth consecutive day. Altadis fell as the company's first-quarter earnings were a bit lower than analysts expected. Delachaux rose after SG Securities raised its rating on the stock to "buy" from "hold". Innelec Multimedia soared after the company reported fourth quarter sales rose 20%.

Asian markets were lower Monday. Tokyo's Nikkei average fell 101.89 points, or 0.9%, to 10,947.22, weighed down by worries about the economic outlook ahead of the first-quarter GDP data due on Tuesday. But the index's slide was curbed by gains in tech stocks after U.S. peers recovered late last week. Advantest rose 2.81% while Fujitsu climbed 0.35%. On the economic front, Japan's current account surplus widened to 0.5% in March from a year earlier to 1.8511 trillion yen, much less than expected as higher oil and commodity prices pushed up the value of imports and export growth remained sluggish.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng market was closed today for a public holiday to mark Buddha's birthday. Trading will resume on May 17.

Canada's benchmark TSX/S&P gained 44.83 points, or 0.48%, to close at 9,323.28.

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