LONDON (The Deal) -- The Netherlands became the latest European country to lose its triple-A rating after a downgrade Friday by credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's. But European markets remained relatively unmoved in early trading, and were equally unaffected by a decline in factory gate prices in France and weaker consumption figures from France and Germany.
In London, the market seemed to have shrugged off some of the weakness in construction industry stocks seen on Thursday, when the Bank of England signaled a reduction in government support for mortgage lending.
In general, Europe appeared to be waiting for Wall Street to give a bit of direction after the Thanksgiving holiday. London's FTSE 100 was up 0.21% at 6,668.69, Frankfurt's Dax was almost unchanged at 9,388.32, and in Paris,
the CAC 40 was hovering just above the 4300 mark at 4,302.03.
There was a mixed picture in Asia overnight. In Australia, Sydney's ASX 200 fell 0.2%, in part on the government's decision to block a $3.1 billion offer for grain handler Graincorp from Archer Daniels Midland
(ADM - Get Report).
In Japan, the Nikkei retreated from Thursday's six-month high to close down 0.41% at 15,661.87. But in Hong Kong the market was up nearly 0.4% at 23,881.29.
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