European and Asian Shares Trade Flat Following Monday's Gains

LONDON (The Deal) -- European and Asian bourses were flat or drifting downward on Tuesday after Monday's big gains, but London -- which was closed for a holiday on Monday -- was still playing catch-up, though with nothing like the previous rally's vigor.

In Germany, the mood was buoyed a little by the announcement of talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko. But with little expectation of any positive result, it wasn't enough to stop the market sliding 0.39% to 9,473 by early afternoon.

There are opposing pressures on the U.S. and the U.K. to raise interest rates and cut quantitative easing on the one hand and on the eurozone and Japan to push ahead with new monetary stimulus on the other. That's increasingly leading investors to keep an eye on currency movements and differential bond yields, which may also affect equity markets in the months to come.

That worry found a focus in London this morning when advertising giant WPP  (WPPGY) announced that currency effects wiped nearly 2 billion pounds ($3.3 billion) off the amount it billed to clients and 80 million pounds off profits before tax in the first half of the year. Still, underlying sales were strong. The world's largest advertising company by sales billed 22 billion pounds. Pretax profits were up 15% at 491 million pounds, which equated to growth of almost one-third once currency effects were stripped out. WPP was one of the biggest risers on the London market, up 1.47% at 1,245 pence a share.

Also up were financials, such as RSA Insurance -- rising 2.33% at 447.3 pence -- and international outsourcing and distribution group Bunzl, which announced pretax profit was up 2%, although, once again, that figure rose to 14% once currency fluctuations were stripped out.

In Amsterdam, technical services provider Royal Imtech was up 8.67% after agreeing to sell its information technology business to French construction and infrastructure group Vinci. Imtech ICT generates annual sales of almost $1 billion in a number of European countries. Vinci was up 0.12%.

In Frankfurt, the German airline Lufthansa was down slightly on concerns about a possible pilots' strike.

In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.23% at 6,791 while in Paris the CAC 40 was down most of the morning but picked up to rise 0.17% at 4,350 in early afternoon. In Moscow, the MICEX Composite was down 0.18% at 1,452.11. In Tokyo, the Nikkei closed own 0.59% at 15,521.22. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was down 0.37% at 25,074.5.

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