LONDON ( The Deal) -- European markets were drifting downward Monday, as investors waited for signals later this week from the European Central Bank. Better-than-expected manufacturing industry data and a particularly strong performance in the U.K. weren't enough to stop the drift.
A big faller was German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp which signaled it will need to raise capital, possibly as much as 10% or about $1.3 billion. That's despite the sale of its Alabama unit for $1.55 billion to ArcelorMittal ( MT - Get Report) and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal over the weekend. ThyssenKrupp was unable to sell its Brazilian operation. The stock was down over 6.6% mid-morning at about 19.90 euros a share.
Meanwhile, the Frankfurt stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse saw its own shares rise this morning on news that it signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bank of China on strategic co-operation. Part of that co-operation will involve developing the coveted offshore Renminbi market in Europe. Deutsche Boerse was up nearly 0.7% at 57.30 euros.
Meanwhile, in Asia, the focus was on China's decision to lift restrictions on new IPOs, imposed last year to stop the sell-off of state owned industries. Brokers like Citic Securities were up strongly on the news, which is expected to mean good business for them. But the Shanghai composite closed down 0.59% on fears investors will sell existing holdings to chase new listings.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed up 0.66% at 24,038.55. In Tokyo, the Nikkei closed slightly down at 15,655.07.