The Deal: European Markets Fluctuate in Early Trading

LONDON (The Deal) -- European markets drifted down and then back up in early trading Tuesday with no common driver. In London, industrial production figures continued their positive trend, up 0.4% in October compared with the previous month and 3.2% up on October last year. But in France the figures looked less healthy, with manufacturing up but production across the sectors down 0.3% on September.
 
The FTSE 100 was up 0.14% at 6,569, and in Paris, the CAC40 was up 0.15% at 4,140. The Dax was up 0.14% at 9,204.60.
 
In London, Lloyds Bank ( LYG) announced the $1.1 billion sale of its final stake in wealth manager St. James's Place, adding to its capital, and improving the chances it will soon return to paying a dividend for the first time since it was rescued by the taxpayer in the financial crisis. Lloyds was up nearly 1% in early trading.
 
In Stockholm, car and truck maker Volvo was up over 1.5% mid-morning on news it will sell its North American construction equipment maker Volvo Rents to private-equity firm Platinum Equity for $1.1 billion.
 
Meanwhile in Spain, the Madrid market was up for the third day running, in part simply because of a general improvement in the economic mood there since foreign investors have begun to return to the country. But more specifically, after Monday's news that Washington private-equity firm Carlyle Group is considering a Madrid float of its inspections and vehicle testing business Applus -- with a possible valuation around $3.4 billion -- it emerged Tuesdayy that Spanish cable operator ONO is also considering an IPO in the new year.

Analysts said that an IPO would give ONO a valuation and make it a more likely takeover target for one of the big European operators, such as Britain's Vodafone ( VOD). The Spanish government is also looking at a possible IPO of its state-owned airports operator AENA.
 
Madrid's IBEX 35 index was up 0.54% at 9,538, mid-morning.
 

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