European Stocks Rise in Quiet Trading

LONDON (The Deal) -- European markets were open but relatively quiet Monday because of the Whitsun holiday. Nevertheless, Germany's DAX Index breached the 10,000 mark for the first time Moday and has continued to trade around that psychologically important threshold in the hours since.

But even as the Bank of England signaled geopolitical risk as an increasing factor in investors' thinking in its bi-annual Systemic Risk Survey, it emerged that Moscow's Micex Index has clawed back Monday all the losses it sustained at the height of the Ukraine crisis. By 1 p.m., Moscow time, the Russian benchmark was up 0.53% at 1,492.79.

Like other European markets, Frankfurt opened in a buoyant mood following the pick-up in Asian markets. Chinese and Hong Kong markets ticked up on news of increased Chinese exports and falling imports. The country's trade surplus nearly doubled in May to $35,8 billion. However, the People's bank of China fixed the currency, the renminbi, higher by 0.22%.

Some analysts took the central bank's move as a signal that it may be satisfied with the 3% decline in the renminbi's value it has engineered since the beginning of the year. They think it now wants to show that one way bets on the currency falling are as dangerous the one way bets on its continued rise that traders were making last year.

An early rally slipped back in later trading, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed up 0.73% at 23,117.47, while the Shanghai Composite closed up just 0.03% at 2,030.5. In Tokyo, the Nikkei225 was up 0.31% at 15,124.

In London, Lloyds Banking Group (LYG) was one of the largest fallers, losing 1.15% to 79.23 pence after setting the pricing range for its IPO of the demerged TSB Group at 220 pence to 290 pence. At the mid-point, TSB's market capitalization would be about 1.27 billion pounds ($2.13 billion). That's about 15% below book value, but analysts suggest the plan is to stoke the market's appetite for further sales of Lloyds' own shares in the coming months. The government will want to reduce its remaining stake in the bank which got a taxpayer bailout during the crash.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.29% at 6,878, while in Paris the CAC 40 was almost flat at 4,582. In Frankfurt, the DAX was up 0.12% at 9,999.17.

 

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