European Indexes End Mixed
The FTSE 100 closed higher Monday, helped by positive news from mining giant BHP BILLITON (+5.68%) and strength in commodity prices. BHP is to release an update on its reserves this week. Renewed bid talk that XSTRATA (+4.64%) may take a second look at LONMIN (+1.99%) also helped. Gold hit a 28-year high on weak US dollar. Copper and lead gained on the back of the weakened US currency. £ was at US$2.0219. However, banking stocks continued to be at the receiving end of some sell orders on a report Deutsche Bank's debt bill may hit €1.7 billion. WTI slipped to US$81.14/bbl, taking down energy stocks. Wall Street cut gains after GM workers went on strike. In company results, WOLSELEY (-4.71%) slumped after reporting a 7.3% fall in fiscal year pretax profit before amortization - below estimates - on weak US housing. In further US-centric news, HSBC (-0.44%) is to close its US subprime unit, cutting 750 jobs and taking US$954 million in charges and write-downs. NORTHERN ROCK (-10.24%) fell on news that it is taking legal advice on its £59 million dividend payout and uncertainty over whether there will be a buyer for the troubled mortgage lender. In banking news, BARCLAYS (-3.24%) is preparing to sell one of its subprime consumer loan businesses at a loss, The Sunday Telegraph wrote. Among other stocks, MARKS & SPENCER (+4.50%) benefited after Deutsche Bank reiterated buy.
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