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European Stocks Slide on Escalating Violence in Iraq

Stocks in this article: COV MDT RIO BHP GE

LONDON ( The Deal) -- European stocks continued to slide on Monday and Asian indices closed mixed amid escalating violence in Iraq.

In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.16% at 6,766.97. In Frankfurt, the DAX fell 0.34% to 9,879.44. The CAC in Paris 40 slid 0.64% to 4,514.16.

In Iraq, Sunni insurgents captured more territory and posted photos apparently showing the execution of scores of Iraqi soldiers. Officials said the U.S. and Iran were considering holding talks about intervention.

In the eurozone, May consumer price data highlighted the region's economic weakness. Prices slipped 0.1% month on month, with the annual inflation rate falling to 0.5% from 0.7%.

Frankfurt-listed shares in Irish medical devices company Covidien (COV) rose almost 33% after Minneapolis-based Medtronic (MDT) agreed to buy the company for $42.9 billion in cash and stock. But in London, Smith & Nephew slipped more than 2% as its rivals' deal was seen as killing the prospect that the U.K. company would strike an agreed takeover deal with Medtronic, which was earlier rumored to be planning a bid.

In London, mining companies including Rio Tinto (RIO), BHP Billiton (BHP) and Anglo American bucked the negative trend, rising as precious metal prices climbed.

But retailer Majestic Wine fell more than 3% despite posting full-year profit slightly ahead of forecasts. Analysts at Investec Bank downgraded their recommendation to add from buy, noting that the stock had rebounded from a March profit warning.

In Paris, French IT services provider Atos slipped slightly after announcing that it will split off its Worldline unit in an initial public offering valuing the business at about $3 billion. Atos will retain a 30% stake.

But Alstom rose marginally ahead of an expected bid from Siemens (SI) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries later Monday for its power-equipment unit. The partners are competing with rival bidder General Electric (GE).


Mainland Chinese indices rose after the central bank loosened its reserve requirement on additional banks.

But in Hong Kong the Hang Seng closed down 0.08% at 23,300.67.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 edged down 0.08% at 23,300.67.

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