The Deal) --
Indian markets took the limelight overnight as the thumping victory of Narendra Modi's pro-business opposition party, the BJP, became apparent. Mumbai's benchmark Sensex Index reached an all-time high of 25,375 mid-morning on Friday. But his defeat of the incumbent Congress party had been pretty much priced in in recent days, and the market soon fell back sharply. At one point it sank to Thursday's closing level, though it later recovered.
In late afternoon in India, the Sensex was up 0.9% at 24,121. Modi's made great promises on infrastructure and clean government, though the BJP still opposes letting in foreign supermarkets like Walmart (WMT - Get Report) or Britain's Tesco.
Elsewhere, however, the mood was more cautious, following Thursday's big swings in sentiment.
In Paris, the telecoms and cable sector was making all the connections. Numericable, which last month won a battle to acquire Vivendi's SFR wireless services unit, announced it is in exclusive talks to buy Virgin Mobile France for 325 millioneuros ( $446 million). Numericable was up 0.37% at 38.26 euros. Bouygues, the loser in the bidding war for SFR, is in talks with the biggest mobile player Orange, reportedly looking at a possible $8 billion merger. Bougues was up 3.88% at 32.90 euros while Orange was up 0.7% at 12.36 euros.
Meanwhile in London, supermarkets were the leading stocks as rumors swirled that W.M. Morrison, the weakest of Britain's big four grocers, was the subject of a possible 6.4 billion pounds ($10.76 billion) bid from an unnamed private-equity consortium. The company's stock rose more than 4.5% to 214.5 pence.
In late morning trading, London's FTSE 100 was down 0.12% at 6833, while in Paris, the CAC 40 was off 0.22% at 4,435. In Frankfurt, the DAX was down 0.28% at 9,628.
Tokyo's Nikkei225 closed down 1.41% at 14,096.59, and in Hong Kong the Hang Seng was down 0.08% at 22,712.91.