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European and Asian Stocks Drift Lower

LONDON (The Deal) -- European and Asian markets drifted down on Monday, as traders took a break following last week's rallies and awaited the reopening of the U.S. markets after the July 4 holiday.

On the macro front, disappointing German industrial production figures weighed on eurozone markets. Economists had expected output to flatline in May. Instead, production fell 1.8% month-on-month from April.

German airline Deutsche Lufthansa rose 1.18% to 15.81 euros, lifted by plans for a new joint venture with Air China later this year. But Franco-German aircraft-builder Airbus Group lost 0.22% to 47.89 euros, despite an agreement to sell 123 helicopters to Chinese companies, and Franco-Dutch rival Air-France dropped 1.55% to 9.57 euros on renewed speculation it may sell its money-losing cargo airline Martinair.

On the ground, French carmaker Renault rose 2.6% to 72 euros, after first-half sales rose 4.7% worldwide and as much as 18% in its European markets, from the same period the previous year.

Mining stocks fell on weakening metals prices. Chilean miner Antofagasta was the biggest faller in London this morning, down 1.94% at 811 pence.

Global brewer SABMiller fell 0.62% to 3,376 pence, on news it is to dispose of its 39.6% stake in South African hotel and entertainment group Tsogo Sun Holdings, valued at $1.09 billion.

In Milan, Mediaset shares gained 1.89% to 3.77 euros, after Spanish telecoms group Telefonica agreed to buy an 11.1% stake in the Italian broadcaster's pay TV business, Mediaset Premium, for 100 million euros.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.2% at 6,852, and in Paris, the CAC40 was down 0.39% at 4,451. Frankfurt's DAX index was down 0.17% at 9,991.7.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed own 0.37% at 15,379.44, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed down 0.02% at 23,540.92.

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