European Indexes Finish Mixed

A roundup of Tuesday's action in major European stock markets

London

The FTSE 100 finished only slightly higher on Tuesday, as Wall Street also tentatively moved back into the black buoyed by solid quarterly results from Goldman Sachs but restrained by discouraging data on housing starts and permits. In the UK, November CPI data were below expectations. Activist investment firm Trian Fund Management confirmed interests in 4.5% of shares of CADBURY SCHWEPPES (+2.47) with Qatar Holding LLC, calling on the company to enhance shareholder value. Banks remained in focus after HM Treasury confirmed to extend the guarantee arrangements for NORTHERN ROCK (-4.92%), to a wider range of wholesale products. AGGREKO (+13.34) unveiled a strong second half performance and expected fiscal results to be at the upper end of estimates. DEBENHAMS (+8.28%) rebounded on news Micky Jagtiani, chairman of Landmark Group, had built a 7.37% stake. REXAM (-2.46%) fell after a Citigroup downgrade with the broker citing increased uncertainty about prospects as its reasoning and DRAX (-6.8%) plummeted on disappointing forecasts. Positive trading news lifted NATIONAL EXPRESS (+4.15%) and COOKSON (+1.97%) thinks fiscal results will be at the upper end on estimates. REGUS (+3.55%) also unveiled a strong performance and raised its final dividend by 67%. Finally, Altadis shareholders approved a change in the tobacco firm's bylaws, paving the way for the takeover by IMPERIAL TOBACCO (+1.22%).

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