European stocks ended Monday’s session in mixed mode as markets digested positive eurozone data amid a drop in retail sales and weaker-than-expected profits at global banking giant HSBC, dealers said.
London’s FTSE 100 index of leading shares fell 0.43 per cent to end at 6,619.58 points and Frankfurt’s DAX 30 slipped 0.10 per cent to 8,398.38 points.
The CAC 40 in Paris finished 0.11 per cent higher, meanwhile, at 4,049.97 points.
In Monday’s foreign exchange trading, the euro slipped to $1.3257 from $1.3279 late in New York on Friday. The dollar dropped to 98.60 yen from 98.89 yen.
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold fell back to $1,304.75 an ounce from $1,309.25 on Friday.
The eurozone recession seems to be fading out at last, with key growth indicators giving a surprisingly strong showing, economics experts said on Monday.
A key leading indicator of activity, the Markit Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index for July switched to give a growth reading for the first time for 18 months.
But eurozone retail sales, a key indicator of demand in the economy, slipped by 0.5 per cent in June from the previous month, official data showed Monday.
On the corporate front, shares in HSBC finished 4.37 per cent lower to close at 721.7 pence after half-year net profits at Europe’s biggest bank came in below expectations.
Profit after tax jumped to $US10.28 billion ($11.59 billion) in the six months to the end of June compared with the first half of 2012 on lower costs and bad-debt charges, the British lender said in an earnings statement.
The result came in slightly below analysts’ consensus forecast of profit after tax totalling $US10.52 billion, according to a survey by Dow Jones Newswires.
Meanwhile in France, utilities group Veolia Environnement reported a six-month profits slump to just 4.0 million euros owing to provisions and warned that its activities in China were slowing.
However shares in the group which provides water and waste management services in many countries rose by 3.41 per cent to 10.62 euros as the company held to its targets to cut costs and debt this year.
In midday trading on Wall Street, US stocks were lower as investors adjusted to a lighter economic calendar following the busy pace of recent weeks that pushed the Dow and S&P 500 to record highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.13 per cent to 15,607,67 points.
The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.14 per cent to 1,707.32, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 0.03 per cent to 3,688.53.
Asian stock markets closed mostly lower on Monday after lower-than-expected US jobs growth sounded a warning about the recovery of the world’s biggest economy, traders said.
The release at the weekend of a slightly improved Chinese non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), compiled by HSBC bank, also failed to give Asian stocks a boost on Monday.
Last week, Wall Street closed at record highs despite the job figures indicating that growth remains sluggish.
Official data on Friday showed that the US unemployment rate fell to a better-than-expected 7.4 per cent in July from 7.6 per cent in June, but jobs growth disappointed.
The Labor Department reported that the United States added 162,000 jobs last month, well below the 175,000 expected on average by analysts.