European Stocks Rise

Asian stocks post small gains

European stock markets finished higher on Monday. London's FTSE 100 index was up 20 points, or 0.4%, to 5,050.4, a four-month high, with help from some takeover deals. Among stocks on the move, Hanson was higher after a 6.25 billion euro unsolicited bid for Germany's HeidelbergCement AG raised the prospect the British company may become a takeover target. Royal & Sun, a potential target of Corvus Capital, was higher. Daniel Stewart Securities rose after reporting its full-year profit more than doubled.

Germany's DAX index fell 13.11 points, or 0.29%, to 4,599.21. HVB was higher after Italy's UniCredito agreed to buy the company for $19.2 billion euros. The euro fell to $1.2095 on speculation that the European Central Bank might consider a rate cut.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index gained 19.39 points, or 0.46%, to 4,203.49. Cegid was higher as the company expects to report higher earnings. Dassault Aviation, which plans to sell stake in Thales SA, was a bit higher. Belvedere fell after ING Wholesale Banking lowered its rating on the stock to hold from buy.

Asian markets finished with small gains on Monday. In Japan, the Nikkei index rose 7.28 points, or 0.06%, to 11,311.51. Gains in automobile stocks, as the U.S. dollar strength boosted sentiment for select exporters, drove marginal gains in Tokyo's two major indices.

In economic news, Japan's first-quarter GDP growth was revised down to 1.2% quarter-to-quarter from 1.3%, slightly disappointing. Japan's production was revised lower to a gain of 1.9% month-to-month in April from 2.2%, but remains healthy, according to Action Economics.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 17.26 points, or 0.12%, to 13,952.02 on the back of strength in telco plays China Mobile and China Unicom, and index heavy weight Hutchison Whampoa.

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